Anonymous Informants

The police were called to a disturbance at a motel based upon information from any anonymous informant.  They arrived one minute later and observed two men standing in the parking lot.  They did not see any violations of the law occurring.  When the officers arrived, they activated their overhead red and blue lights despite the fact that they did not see any violations of the law.  They contacted the Defendant who said he had driven their earlier.  Officers saw what they thought was signs of impairment.  Defendant was arrested and did a blood test.  The result was .272.  
 
Information from anonymous informants is not deemed reliable as a matter of law, I argued that the officers’ activation of their overhead red and blue lights constituted a Fourth Amendment seizure.  I set the case for a hearing on that issue.  This argument was enough to get the District Attorney to agree to dismiss all the alcohol-related charges in exchange for a plea of guilty to Reckless Driving with unsupervised probation.  

DA’s are sometimes very aggressive on low-BAC cases

A 24-year old young man was seen by an officer hitting a median (he explained it was because he was looking at his cell phone).  Officer put him through roadsides and said he failed.  Defendant submitted to a blood test which had a result of .037.  Despite the legal presumption that individuals below a .05 are not impaired, the DA was aggressive and demanded a plea of guilty to Driving While Ability Impaired.  We refused and set the case for trial.  Just before the trial, the DA recontacted us and agreed to dismiss the alcohol-related charge if Defendant pled guilty to Careless with a minimum fine.    This case is an example of how the DAs are sometimes very aggressive on low-BAC cases.  We had to be equally aggressive and set the case for trial to get the excellent result we did.

Seizure without probable cause

The defendant was asleep in a parked car at 2:19 a.m.  The officer noticed the car on the side of the road with an individual sitting behind the wheel, with the engine on, and made contact with my client.  After noting signs of intoxication, the officer arrested the defendant who then submitted to a breath test with a result of .193.  I reviewed the report carefully, and then at the Express Consent driver’s license hearing, asked the officer questions as to whether he left his red and blue emergency lights on.  The officer admitted that they were.  I also clarified with the officer that he did not see that the defendant had committed any violations of the law before he made contact with him.  Then when I met with the District Attorney, I argued that the activation of the red and blue overhead lights requires an individual to pull over and constitutes a seizure under the Fourth Amendment.  This seizure was without probable cause to believe that the defendant had committed any criminal offense and would mandate dismissal of the case.  The District Attorney was concerned enough that I would prevail on this argument that he offered a plea bargain where the case would be dismissed in its entirety after one year if the defendant fulfilled certain terms and conditions.

Client Stopped for Weaving

Client was stopped for weaving at 1:00 a.m.  The officer noted strong odor of alcohol beverage on the driver’s breath, bloodshot and watery eyes and the client had admitted to having “a beer or two.”  The client did perform roadside sobriety maneuvers and failed them.  He eventually chose a breath test which yielded a .145 test result.  This was a difficult case, but fortunately, when I checked the breath test machine instrument certification documents, I discovered that the certification for this test was subject to attack.  I am very familiar with the Gilpin County case of Friedlander that recently called into question the “foundational requirements” for admission of the breath test results. There, the documents had a  ‘signature’ on the certification document of a person who is no longer employed by the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment.  This case had the same flaw. I challenged the admissibility of the test result with the District Attorney and we eventually worked out a plea bargain where the client’s case would be dismissed after one year if he completed certain terms and conditions.

DUI Dismissal Greeley, Colorado

DUI Dismissal Greeley, Colorado 

Our client had an accident in a major storm, was not injured and no other vehicle was involved.  The client decided to walk home and left his vehicle due to the road conditions.  The police found his vehicle and cross-referenced the plates and showed up at his home later that evening.  The cops asked for entry into the home, which was initially refused.   The cops eventually gained entry into the home by convincing the young man that answered the door to let them in. The officer invoked the express consent law once he entered our client’s home, and our client elected to take a breath test. The officer then refused to give our client the breath test he elected, “because of the weather”.

We filed a Motion to Dismiss based on illegal entry into the home, and failure to preserve possibly exculpatory evidence. Just before the court hearing, the DA offered to dismiss the DUI charge if our client plead to a lesser reckless driving charge, 24 hours of community service and classes.

This would have been the clients third DUI and would have been looking at substantial jail time, monetary charges and loss of license.  Know your rights, the police do need to follow certain protocol and often times fail to do so.

6th Jury Trial Win!!

On February 6th, Brad Allin wins 6th Trial Case in a row.  Driver was parked and approached by officer, admitted to drinking a few beers earlier.   The driver was asked to preform roadside testing and performed them well.  The officer proceeded to ask him to do a breathalyzer and/or blood test and the driver refused.  The client/driver feelings were that he had already proven his ability to drive and that the officer had no reason to ask for him for any additional testing.  The Trial Court agreed and found him not guilty.   You do have rights when pulled over or approached by an officer.

5 Trial Wins in a Row!!

On Monday, August 26th Brad Allin won his fifth DUI/DUID Trial in a row. In Larimer County Court, 4D. A trucker pulls into Port of Entry station, an officer signals him in to review his paperwork. He goes into the POE and the officer smells the odor of alcoholic beverage and places him “out of service.” The POE officer also calls for a State Trooper to investigate the possible DUI. The trucker is despondent and knows that he has just lost his job, so when the investigating Trooper arrives, he refuses to do roadsides sobriety maneuvers (always a good choice). The investigating Trooper, however, notes several signs of intoxication and arrests the trucker, the trucker refuses all blood and breath testing. This case was critically important to my client given his occupation. Either a DUI or a DWAI would have permanently ended his 29-year driving career. I was able to convince the jury there was a reasonable doubt about his guilt because the two officers observations regarding impairment differed substantially and it was reasonable, understandable, and human for him to have refused all testing giving his despondent condition. The jury verdict came back quickly, in about 10 minutes. [continue reading…]

DUID/marijuana

The client filed to come to a complete stop at a stop sign, traveling through the stop sign at about 5 mph.  Officer saw common signs of marijuana impairment and the client admitted to smoking two hours earlier.  The client also performed roadside sobriety maneuvers which were not done in a manner “consistent with sobriety”.  The client did submit to a blood test.  The result was 5.4 ng, above the “permissive inference” level of 5.0.  We always send the blood sample to an independent laboratory to verify the state lab result and, in this case, the second sample came back at 4.1 ng, below the 5.0 ng permissive inference level.  Based on these factors, I was able to work out a deferred sentence where the case will eventually get dismissed if the client abides by all of the terms and conditions of the deferred sentence agreement.

DUI charge Dismissed

Client driving home, but fails to come to a complete stop at a stop sign.  Officer noted the odor of alcohol beverage and the client admits drinking.  The client refused roadsides and the blood or breath test.  We were able to find reliable, independent witnesses who saw the client earlier in the evening and would have testified that he showed no signs of impairment.  Based upon that and the lack of certain common indicia of intoxication, I was able to get the DUI charged dismissed in its entirety.  In its place, the client pled guilty to Careless Driving with a stipulation to no jail.

DA Dismissed Case

Client was stopped for speeding.  Had an odor of alcoholic beverage and exhibited balance problems, including stumbling.  The client refused roadside sobriety maneuvers and the blood or breath test.  Unfortunately, the client had two priors so the only offer from the DA was plea of guilty to DUI with a jail sentence of up to 90 days.  We rejected the offer and set the matter for an evidentiary suppression hearing.  We won the suppression hearing and the DA dismissed the case in its entirety.  No jail, probation, or classes.