What happens when an Officer Hides Evidence, and Gets caught in a Utah DUI?

 I was asked by a client two years ago to take over his case. He had another lawyer; he pled guilty and was on the verge of being sentenced. I agreed to represent this man and filed a motion to withdraw his guilty plea before he was sentenced. The judge allowed the plea to be withdrawn. The man’s case just did not sit right. The man claimed he did not have anything to drink that day and gave me specific details of what he did that day. He was pulled over, arrested, and charged with DUI. Here’s the thing. The man did not trust the breath test, so he begged for the officers to give him a blood test. The officers refused and said take my breath test. The breath test came back so high that it was unbelievable to the man. Again, he asked for a blood test. Again, he was denied. He was booked into jail.

The officer wrote a report that described a drunk. It was horrible. The officer was asked to produce a video, but he testified at various hearings that his camera was not working. Things did not match and the case did not smell right. So we have a jury trial in the justice court and the man is convicted. He is sentenced and we appeal to the District Court. We are not going to give up. We have a hearing on whether the officer had a right to arrest this man. 

Here is the kicker. After six suppression motions and hearings on those motions, after a jury trial, and after an appeal, this officer walks into court with a video! The video is played in Court for the judge. The video contradicts the officer’s testimony and report. This man didn’t look drunk. He looked aged and a little uncoordinated doing the tests in his sandals. The real kicker is that the officer was not truthful with the court. He told us there was no video, but in fact, he never looked. Then he thought the video would help him, so he brings it to court. It contradicted everything the officer testified to prior.

A motion was then filed under a case called Brady v. Maryland and Utah cases that stand for the proposition that if the government hides evidence then there is a sanction. The government shall not cheat.

The District Court Judge took this issue and studied it. It is a big sanction to the government to dismiss a case. The judge considered this case for about two months. Today, a well thought out ruling came in the mail ending with “CASE DISMISSED WITH PREJUDICE.”

Never, ever, give up!

3 responses to “What happens when an Officer Hides Evidence, and Gets caught in a Utah DUI?”

  1. I’m fighting a case similar to this- In my intial trial in General sessions court the officer that pulled me over said his car did not have video, then in curcuit court he said he did have one, but he video had been destroyed by then. Any thoughts?


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