Cowboy Cop Points Gun at Motorist’s Head


An ACT Magistrate has issued a stern rebuke to a New South Wales police officer who pulled his gun on a motorist who he claimed was trying to avoid a random breath test.

Video footage from the police dash cam was tendered as evidence in court when the motorist chose to defend the charge of drink driving brought against him.

The video shows the officer running towards the driver with his pistol drawn, and leveling it at the driver’s head.

Excessive Force

The video shows the officer tapping his gun twice on the driver’s car window, before the driver gets out of the car with his hands raised. The officer then directs the driver to lie face down in the centre of the lane.

Once the driver is on the ground, the officer holsters his gun and knees the man in the back before handcuffing him, then punching him in the upper-back.

The arresting officer told the court he noticed the motorist slow his vehicle down as he approached a breath test station on Canberra Avenue, Queanbeyan in January last year.

The officer claimed that after slowing down momentarily, the driver then swerved and turned down a side road.

The driver was stopped in Woods Lane in the ACT.

ACT police arrived a short time later, and the arresting officer told them that the driver returned a positive breath test. The driver was then taken to Woden police station and charged with drink driving.

In Court

The driver’s defence lawyer argued the arrest was unlawful because of the officer used excessive force. The lawyer also pointed-out that the officer had failed to advise the driver of the reason for the arrest.

The court also heard that the officer neglected to record information about the nature of the arrest in his incident report, which is a requirement under police guidelines.

ACT Magistrate Margaret Hunter found that the officer’s conduct was uncalled for – particularly his act of pointing the gun at the driver’s face.

The officer said he felt his actions were reasonable. He also claimed to be unaware of the requirement to record information about pulling the gun.

He said he felt scared and threatened because the area was dark, and was concerned there may have been several people in the car.

But the Magistrate noted the road is well-lit, and there had clearly only been one person in the car – as evidenced by the dash cam footage. She said the officer could have handled the situation in several other ways if he was indeed frightened – including remaining in his car, calling for back-up and waiting for other police to arrive.

Her Honour also found that while the Senior Constable claimed he had informed attending police of what had occurred, it was clear from their evidence that he had not mentioned pointing his gun at the driver’s head or kneeing him in the back.

Not Guilty of Drink Driving

The Magistrate ultimately found the driver not guilty of drink driving because the NSW officer’s breathalyser was not an approved device under ACT law, and Canberra police failed to conduct their own breath test at the scene. She ordered that police pay the driver’s legal costs.

NSW Police say they intend to investigate the officer’s conduct.

Source: Cowboy Cop Points Gun at Motorist’s Head

IGNITION INTERLOCK DEVICES AND DWI PROBATION DIFFICULTIES

Blog | Law Office of Lance Turnbow

As a Texas criminal defense attorney I handle many DWI cases. These cases are complicated and require a lot of effort and skill to obtain the best outcome. Some are dismissed, some are reduced to lesser charges, some are resolved with no probation, and some (especially DWI 2nd’s or DWI 3rd’s) involve a probation period. On that probation one of the main problems for my clients is the ignition interlock device.As of right now in Texas, if you are convicted of DWI and your blood alcohol level is .15 or higher you will be required to install one of these devices on any vehicle you drive for at least half the term of any probation. If you are on probation for a second DWI, regardless of your BAC, you must have an ignition interlock device installed on any vehicle you drive. Many of these devices are made by Draeger or Smart Start and they have to be calibrated frequently to ensure accuracy. The number one reason my clients violate their DWI probation is without a doubt ignition interlock violations.If you are facing a DWI and hope to avoid having an interlock device installed on your vehicle contact the Law Office of Lance Turnbow. In a lot of my cases I can find a way to avoid the interlock requirement and in many cases avoid probation entirely.

Source: Blog | Law Office of Lance Turnbow

Can I refuse a portable breath test?

CAN I REFUSE A PORTABLE BREATH TEST?

can-i-refuse-a-portable-breath-test-worden-law-firm
August 9, 2017

If you are pulled over in Oklahoma and accused of drinking and driving, it is likely that you will be asked to participate in various field sobriety tests such as a portable breath test. The majority of the tests that are given are actually even difficult for sober people to complete with 100% accuracy, and are therefore considered to induce a guilty result. Once a field sobriety test is failed, the officer then has probable cause to make the arrest. Refusal of a test may itself result in probable cause for your arrest, but will end up in less strong evidence that could be held against you further down the line.

To answer the question at stake, “can I refuse a portable breath test?” The answer is, not only can you refuse it, but it is actually advised that you refuse it if you have put any alcohol into your system at all. The reason for this is that the test measures your blood alcohol concentration, but not your level of impairment; and impairment levels are different for different people in relation to said blood alcohol concentration. For example, for some people, their level of blood alcohol concentration will be above the legal limit, but they are still not incurring any level of impairment.

If you are arrested, regardless of your refusal or consent, you must clearly state to the police officer that you want an attorney, by doing so, any questioning will have to be postponed until your Oklahoma City DWI attorney is present. According to the Implied Consent Law, prior to your arrest on suspicion of a DUI, you will then be asked to receive a test for the analysis of the alcohol content of your blood. The police officer is required to read you the Implied Consent Warning before your consent and submission to the test. Although, in this case, you do still have the right to refuse the test, but said refusal will result in automatic suspension of your license. This in itself will be of separate offense from any potential DUI charges you may still potentially incur. Even if said blood alcohol test does not result in your favor, an experienced DWI lawyer can still provide you with an adequate defense case.

There are serious consequences to a DUI offense, whether it’s a first offense or a misdemeanor DUI conviction, and the repercussions can affect you for the rest of your life. From jail, to license suspension, to expensive fines and insurance costs, to permanent record implications that can affect your education, or career, and future finances, these are among the many reasons as to why it is so important that you hire a skilled DUI attorney to assist you in your case. If you are looking for a DWI lawyer in Oklahoma City, here at Worden Law, we are confident in our ability to help you fight to the win. Don’t hesitate to contact us today, and let us help you get your life back on track.

Source: Can I refuse a portable breath test? | Worden Law Firm

Crime Law: Jury found Client Not Guilty of DUI with two prior DUI convictions!

Jury found Client Not Guilty of DUI with two prior DUI convictions!After a three day jury trial, my client was found NOT GUILTY of DUI and driving with blood alcohol concentration over .08.  There were special allegations of two prior DUI convictions.  If found guilty, he could have been subject to 120 days minimum jail and indefinite loss of his driving privileges.The arresting officer testified along with two California Department of Justice experts for the prosecution.  Blood alcohol evidence was presented that my client’s BAC was .10, 45 minutes after arrest.A single defense expert and witness testified for the defense.  Evidence of a Rising Blood Alcohol was presented. Additionally, the court excluded the evidence of a preliminary alcohol test taken in the field because the peace officer failed to inform my client of his right to refuse the test.The jury reached its verdict in just over one hour of deliberations.

Source: Crime Law: Jury found Client Not Guilty of DUI with two prior DUI convictions!

I Am Innocent! Why Should I Hire A Criminal Attorney?

I Am Innocent! Why Should I Hire A Criminal Attorney?

‍If you are taking prescription drugs, please be aware that you can be charged and convicted of a DUI – and you can even face jail and a suspended license.

If you are using any prescription that causes drowsiness or dizziness, please do NOT drive because you can be charged with a DUI even if you have small amounts of narcotics in your system.

There are even more complications when you drink alcohol while you are taking medication. It is impossible to know what effects the alcohol and medication will have in your system and the consequences of driving after consuming alcohol with medication can turn deadly and you can be charged with a felony DUI if you injure or kill someone as a result of your driving.

Have you been arrested or charged with a crime? If so, you should contact a criminal defense attorney immediately.

But I am Innocent! Won’t the Courts Straighten it Out?

If you are innocent of the charges you are being accused of, you need to have legal representation that will advocate effectively on your behalf.

Innocent people are arrested and convicted all the time, so in order for you to ensure you are not convicted of a crime you did not do, contact an attorney that handles criminal, DUI and traffic offenses.

Can I Represent Myself In Court?

The Sixth Amendment gives the right to represent oneself, but that does not mean you should do it. 

For a defendant to represent himself, there must be a knowing, intelligent and voluntary waiver, giving up the right to an attorney.  A defendant must make the request, but the judge is not required to grant the request.

When a defendant chooses self-representation, the court will require a hearing in order to evaluate a person’s competency where the trial judge will ask legal questions to evaluate whether the defendant is competent. The test the judge uses is whether the defendant is intelligently waiving the right to counsel.  Even if the judge finds the defendant competent, the court may appoint a standby counsel to assist.

If the defendant exercises his right to self-representation, the defendant cannot later complain that the quality of his defense denied him effective assistance of counsel.

Do I have a Right to a Lawyer?

A defendant’s Sixth Amendment right to counsel attaches when the government initiates adversarial criminal proceedings.  Arraignments are the first of many criminal proceedings and thus, the assistance of counsel clause is guaranteed by all defendants in misdemeanor and felony cases.

The Sixth Amendment guarantees a defendant the right to have an attorney represent him.  If the defendant cannot afford an attorney, one must be appointed at the state’s expense.  The attorney must give effective assistance, and the representation must be conflict free.

Do I Get a Pick My Own Lawyer?

Most people do not know that if you retain your own attorney, you have a right to choose the attorney.  By hiring an attorney that best suits your needs, you will obtain a DUI or criminal lawyer that has experience, knowledge of the law, and will provide you with proactive strategies to obtain the best possible results.

What If There is a Conflict of Interest?

Defendants must also receive conflict free representation.  Lawyers have conflict of interests when one client has an interest adverse to those of the other client.  The most common example is simultaneous representation.  An attorney may not concurrently represent multiple defendants (co-defendants) in a criminal case.

Likewise, an attorney cannot represent a new client when there was previous representation of a witness, victim, or other co-defendants. Lawyers owe a duty of loyalty to their clients and forcing an attorney to jointly represent forces the lawyer to choose between the clients.  When there is a conflict of interest, the judge must appoint new counsel that is free from the conflict.

How Do I Know If I Need a Lawyer?

If you do not know if you need legal counsel, the best way to find out is contacting an honest and reputable criminal defense law firm. By contacting an experienced lawyer immediately can help you, especially when you are innocent of the charges against you.

http://www.fresnodefenders.com/blog/hire-criminal-attorney

Man Who Looks Like Jesus Arrested For 5th OWI

Kyle Gindorff, age 31, of Lake Geneva, performed poorly on standardized field sobriety tests and refused a preliminary breath test.

Man Who Looks Like Jesus Arrested For 5th OWI

MILWAUKEE, WI — Tuesday morning, at about 3:50 a.m., deputies responded to a call of a driver slumped over the wheel of his car on the I-43 westbound S. 76th Street off-ramp.

According to the Milwaukee County Sheriff’s office, Kyle Gindorff, age 31, of Lake Geneva, performed poorly on standardized field sobriety tests and refused a preliminary breath test. He was arrested for Driving Under the Influence-5th offense. Gindorff has a pending DUI-5th offense from May of this year, and if convicted on that prior charge, this arrest will become a DUI-6th offense.

Gindorff’s driver’s license was in revoked status, and he had an open beer in the center console. In addition to the felony DUI-5th and DUI-5th party to a crime charges, he faces felony Bail Jumping, misdemeanor Operating While Revoked, and traffic citations for Parking/Standing where Prohibited and Keep Open Intoxicants in Motor Vehicle.

If convicted of all charges, Gindorff faces potential imprisonment of up to 26 years.

Source: Man Who Looks Like Jesus Arrested For 5th OWI – Greenfield, WI Patch

Alcohol & Marijuana DUI Law for Commercial Driver’s Licenses –

When it comes to driving under the influence, the rules for Alcohol-related DUI’s and marijuana DUI’s are far more stringent for drivers with Commercial Driver’s Licenses (CDL) than drivers using a standard license.The legal blood alcohol limit established for drivers over 21 is 0.08. With a CDL, that legal limit is slashed in half to 0.04. The stricter guidelines are the result of several variables including the massive size/weight of most commercial vehicles as well as the presence of hazardous materials.The marijuana DUI laws are also less lenient. Any CDL driver found with even the smallest trace of THC in his/her system are looking at an automatic DUI charge.Find out more about CDL DUI law by watching the video above. Be sure to check out my older blog posts for informative videos about marijuana DUI law, and Busting the Legal Limit Myth.

Source: Alcohol & Marijuana DUI Law for Commercial Driver’s Licenses –

WA State legislator proposes bill that would make fourth offense DUI a felony

Now that the 2015 Washington State legislative session is under way.  The annual what can we do to make DUI laws tougher here in Washington State has begin.  The latest example is a proposed bill that would make a fourth offense DUI a felony.  Currently under Washington law a felony DUI law charge applies if a driver has been convicted of a DUI four times within the past decade, essentially making a fifth offense DUI a felony.  This legislation was proposed last year, and the year before, and the year before it seems.  And it always comes back to the same thing.  Money.  Like all things it always comes back to money.  Regardless of how you feel about DUIs, and by now means do I condone drinking and driving.  But the cost of new legislation and implementing the laws means more in some cases than the idea.  Would making a fourth offense DUI a felony be a good idea.  Of course it would.  Despite being a DUI Attorney in Seattle, if a driver doesn’t learn their lesson by the third time then chances are nothing is going to help them.  At least that is my opinion.  Perhaps facing a lengthier jail sentence would cause a multiple repeat DUI offender to reconsider their choices.  The problem with this legislation is how will the bill be implemented financially.  It is not as simple as saying okay your fourth DUI is now a felony.  There are costs that need to be factored.  Probation, jail, and monitoring fees are just a few off the top of my head.  If you’re interested in an article about this new legislation here you go.  I would be surprised if this bill passed.  Again not because it is not a good idea, but we still don’t have any money here in Washington State.

Source: Seattle DUI Attorney – Leyba Defense PLLC: WA State legislator proposes bill that would make fourth offense DUI a felony

Want 30 Days Jail Credit ? Get a Vasectomy.

Nashville’s News Chanel Five reported yesterday of one Tennessee judge’s unusual method to reduce one’s jail sentence. White County Tennessee General Sessions Judge Sam Benningfield entered a standing court order granting 30 days of jail credit to those serving jail sentences. The catch to getting the jail credit is to agree to have a vasectomy or the have a birth control device implanted.It strikes me as an extreme abuse of judicial power. Judges in Tennessee determine the jail sentence if no plea bargain is entered into. The court holds the keys to the jail cell once a sentence is imposed. It puts the court in an unfair bargaining position. Everybody in jail wants out of jail. To force one to have themselves robbed of their ability to reproduce is a practice that should not be tolerated. To his credit, the local District Attorney General Bryant Dunaway agrees. Here is his statement from the report. District Attorney Bryant Dunaway, who oversees prosecution of cases in White County is worried the program may be unethical and possibly illegal.“It’s concerning to me, my office doesn’t support this order,” Dunaway said.“It’s comprehensible that an 18-year-old gets this done, it can’t get reversed and then that impacts the rest of their life,” he added.The American Civil Liberties Union also took a position.”Offering a so-called ‘choice’ between jail time and coerced contraception or sterilization is unconstitutional. Such a choice violates the fundamental constitutional right to reproductive autonomy and bodily integrity by interfering with the intimate decision of whether and when to have a child, imposing an intrusive medical procedure on individuals who are not in a position to reject it. Judges play an important role in our community – overseeing individuals’ childbearing capacity should not be part of that role.”In Davidson County Tennessee, it is common to work out a probation violation case on the condition that the defendant will enter a drug or alcohol program and be released upon the condition that they complete the program. This is completely different than court sanctioned sterilization. While the court’s actions may be well intended, it is simply wrong. No Tennessee law sanctions this type of conduct by the courts to reduce jail time.I suggest we watch this story and see how it develops.

Source: Want 30 Days Jail Credit ? Get a Vasectomy. : Nashville Criminal Law Report

What is a Lesser Included Offense, and Why is it Important?

Lesser included offense laws can play a significant role for the defense in a Texas criminal case. However, they can also be used by the prosecuting attorney to secure an advantage at trial. If you’ve been charged with a crime, the key to success with lesser included offenses is proper strategy, which requires an in-depth, meticulous understanding of how the law works. An experienced Collin County lawyer can tell you more about the application of these laws to your unique situation, but it’s helpful to review the basics and recognize the potential advantages.Lesser Included Offense Under Texas LawAccording to the Texas Code of Criminal Procedure, a lesser included offense is one that:Can be proved by the same facts, or less than all of the same facts, that would prove the crime actually charged by the prosecution;Is only different from the crime charged, in that it involves a less serious injury or risk of injury to the person, property, or public interest;Is different from the crime charged, in that it involves a less blameworthy mental state of mind; OR,Bears the characteristics of an attempt to commit the crime charged or an otherwise included crime.EXAMPLEA common scenario used to describe the concept of lesser included offenses is the crime of strangulation, which falls under Assaultive Offenses in the Texas Penal Code. Assault is knowingly causing or threatening to cause bodily injury to another person, and it’s a Class A Misdemeanor.Choking someone is a type of assault; however, there’s the added element that it involves stopping the airflow of another person. The assault crime of strangulation is elevated to a Third-Degree Felony.Based upon this example, assault would be a lesser included offense to strangulation. It can be proved by less than all of the same facts because, for assault, it’s not necessary to establish that the defendant stopped the airflow of another person.Implications of a Lesser Included Offense at TrialThe Texas statute on lesser included offenses can be part of an effective strategy in defending your rights in a criminal case. Ultimately, your goal is to get the option of a lesser included offense before the jury when they go to deliberate.Not a Separate Charge: When a lesser included offense is an option in your case, it will not come as a separate charge. Only a judge can order the jury to consider whether to convict you for a crime that’s not part of the official charges against you, and he or she would do so through jury instructions.How Jury Instructions Work in Texas: When the prosecutor has presented the evidence against you and you have presented all facts and arguments for your defense, the jury will deliberate about the case. However, they receive instructions from the judge before heading off to discuss your guilt or innocence, such as the essential elements of the crime.Prosecuting and defense attorneys submit their requests for jury instructions; if they’re approved by the judge, the jury is required to adhere to them when making a decision.Getting the Lesser Included Offense Before the Jury: A specific instruction on a lesser included offense is necessary to ensure the jury considers this as an option; otherwise, the jury will only consider the crime that’s described in the official charges.In general, a defendant has the right to a jury instruction on lesser included offenses if the evidence would allow the jury to reasonably find him or her guilty of the lesser offense – but NOT guilty of the greater offense.Texas courts have held that anything more than a “scintilla” of evidence may be sufficient to include a jury instruction on lesser included offenses. There may be grounds for appeal if a judge declines to include the instruction, because the refusal to allow the jury to consider a lesser offense harms the defendant’s case.

Source: What is a Lesser Included Offense, and Why is it Important? | Rosenthal & Wadas