More than 60 cases – most involving drunk driving charges – were dismissed in New York this week after video evidence showed the arresting officer's testimony was “inaccurate.” The prosecuting attorney was so concerned about the untrue testimony of the officers that she dismissed dozens of their arrests. Though this story refers to police officers in New York, it exemplifies what police are ready to do to attain a DWI/DUI conviction – especially here in Houston where corruption among police officers is rampant.
Here's what happened in New York.
The arrest occurred in Greenvale, New York in September 2017. Two officers pulled over the defendant driving a Volkswagen Beetle in a nearby parking lot. According to the officers, the defendant looked unsteady upon exiting the vehicle. The officers also reported and later testified to an arrest that seemed standard. The defendant was arrested under suspicion of driving while intoxicated and eventually registered a .09 blood alcohol concentration.
The discovery of security video related to the arrest turned the case, and dozens involving the same officer, upside down.
The Emergence of the Video
In 2018, the defense attorney for the accused driver provided the prosecutor of a security video of the private parking lot where the arrest took place. The video conflicts with the officer's previous testimony in a number of important ways, including:
- Whether the defendant's car or purse was searched
- Whether a civilian witnessed the arrest
- Observations of the driver as she exited the vehicle
- The lighting during sobriety tests
- The length of time police waited to test the driver's blood alcohol concentration.
Following the release of the video, counsel for the accused asked for the case to be dismissed and filed motions alleging the officers perjured themselves.
After waiting two months, the prosecuting attorney took action. The prosecutor dismissed the case, dropping all charges against the woman. This dismissal occurred prior to the court ruling on the defendant's motion regarding police misconduct, which means the case is sealed forever without a ruling on the issue.
In addition to dismissing this case, it was asked that another 60 cases involving the same officers be dismissed or charges be reduced. The vast majority of those arrests were DWI-related with several involving felony charges. Defense attorneys in the area have raised complaints to the prosecuting attorney for pursuing cases involving these officers for months after they were aware of the video without disclosing it to other defendants.
How a Board Certified Expert in DWI Defense Can Help You in Houston
The cornerstone of a strong DWI defense is a thorough investigation. Without the hard work of the defense attorney in the New York case, it is unlikely the video of the arrest would have ever been discovered. A skilled DWI defense attorney could work tirelessly to collect important evidence in a case and use it to have charges reduced or dismissed.
Not every investigation is going to turn up an independently-recorded video that exonerates you. However, attorney Doug Murphy is experienced in cross-examining arresting officers that cut corners or are not entirely truthful. A Board Certified expert in both DWI defense and criminal defense law, Doug Murphy has the skills and experience to build the strongest defense possible in your case. To learn more about your defense options, contact the Doug Murphy Law Firm, P.C. today.
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