Recent Case Win–DWI-Not Guilty, Police Officer Caught Lying

By Bo Kalabus
bo@kalabuslaw.com
www.kalabuslaw.com
www.rosenthalwadas.com

972-562-7549
214-402-4364 (24 hour jail release)

My client was parked in a running vehicle in a storage facility at night. An officer on patrol saw my client’s parked car in what he called a “suspicious place” and pulled in to investigate. In the process, the officer blocked my client in and lit him up with a searchlight, detaining him without a word being said. The officer also believed that he had seen my client urinating from the roadway, which following review of his in-car video would have been next to impossible to see considering the dark conditions. My client admitted to driving the vehicle to the storage area and drinking alcohol. He was ultimately arrested for DWI.

During the course of my investigation, I learned the officer that had arrested my client had been fired by the police agency he worked for. At the hearing on my client’s driver’s license suspension, I questioned the officer regarding his termination and he responded under oath he was not given a reason for his termination—“just during my probation period”. I found this hard to believe and obtained the officer’s personnel file from the police agency. I learned that the officer was terminated for using excessive force and reckless driving. Prior to his termination, the officer had made statements in his defense to both charges, to which his superiors found to not be credible after review of the officer’s in-car video recordings. This officer had also lied under oath to me during the driver’s license hearing, since he knew specifically for what he was terminated.

I urged a Motion to Suppress the vehicle stop, because I believed the officer lacked reasonable suspicion to detain my client as the storage facility did not appear to be a suspicious place and the in-car video showed that the officer could not have seen my client urinating from the roadway. During the suppression hearing, I addressed the issue that the officer lied under oath during my client’s driver’s license hearing and impeached him with his prior statements. Following this, I was able to discuss the officer’s personnel file and caught him in several more misrepresentations during the hearing.

After I finished my cross examination of the officer, I argued that the officer failed to articulate a reason the storage area was a suspicious place, and based on the video evidence and the officer’s lack of credibility, his testimony that my client was urinating outside of his vehicle lacked merit. Following arguments, the judge granted the Motion. With the reason for the stop now moot, we proceeded to a bench trial before the judge and my client was found not guilty.

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