Interviewer: Can you share any details about the cases you have handled? Can you give me a summary of how it worked out? Were they clients that you worked with before, or were they new clients?
Some Cases May Be Relatively Easy to Overturn; With Others, the Prosecution May Choose to Argue against Overturning the Conviction
Brian Sloan: Probably about half of them were clients that I worked with before. One case, who was a previous client, we were successful in having that overturned. The prosecutor’s not fighting me on that.
In one case which was a new client, again the case overturned, and the prosecutor’s not fighting me on that. In another case, which is a new client, the prosecutor needs more time to figure out how to respond to my motion.
In one case it was looking good that we would get the case overturned with a previous client; but they retested the blood. It tested positive for active marijuana. So now the prosecution is fighting, saying that there’s no point in overturning the case. The client would be found guilty regardless.
Seeking an Experienced Attorney: There Are Some Pitfalls for Attorneys to Navigate as They Explore the New Process of Having a Conviction Overturned
In another case, what was a benefit in the past is working against us now. Previously, we used to try and deal with a DUI drug case as a DUI alcohol case in order to prevent someone from having their license revoked for one year and instead deal with the case as an alcohol DUI case, where their license gets suspended for 90 days.
What was a benefit back then is ending up hurting my client now when I’m attempting to overturn the conviction. Now I’m having both the prosecutor and the judge attempt to fight me, in saying that the Arizona Supreme Court decision has nothing to do with the type of plea agreement my client entered into.
The judge is wrong about that, as is the prosecutor; however, unfortunately that would require appealing it to the lower court of appeals. Then it would very likely require being appealed again to the court of appeals, and that takes a lot of time; that takes a lot of effort. Quite honestly, that takes a lot of money to have appellate lawyers assist that type of argument, and I am not an appellate attorney.
If You Are Successful in Having a Conviction Overturned, You Will Be Given Paperwork Indicating the Motion Has Been Granted
Interviewer: Are there any documents, or a letter from someone, that I can hand to a potential employer explaining that, “My conviction has been overturned, but it’s taking time for it to actually take effect on my criminal record”?
Brian Sloan: You should be able to get something from the court system indicating that it has been overturned. The court system works with a lot of templates, a lot of fill-in-the-blanks. You just enter in the person’s name and click on what happened, and the rest of the document will populate.
It may take some time for the system to be updated and for Arizona records and Arizona Motor Vehicle Division records to be updated, showing that the case has been overturned and deleting any record of any sort of conviction.
If You Have Multiple Drug-Related DUI Convictions, More than One Can Be Overturned
Interviewer: What if I had two DUI convictions, and they were both drug-related and I feel that they were along the same lines. Could they both be overturned theoretically?
Brian Sloan: Yes, there’s no reason for them not to be overturned, whether we’re talking about misdemeanor cases, or a first-time DUI, second-time DUI. In theory we could get aggravated DUI cases, felony DUI cases, where the only evidence was Carboxy-THC in a person’s system. All this can be overturned.
Aggravated DUI Cases May Also Be Overturned
Interviewer: What are some examples of aggravated DUI charges?
Aggravated DUI Charges Include Receiving a DUI and Driving While the License Is Suspended and a DUI While Driving with a Minor Passenger
Brian Sloan: If someone was driving with inactive marijuana metabolite in their system, often known as Carboxy-THC, while their license to drive was suspended, revoked, cancelled, refused, or restricted, and they knew, or had reason to know, their license to drive was suspended, revoked, cancelled, refused, or restricted, that is a Class 4 aggravated DUI. That could be overturned.
If someone was driving with Carboxy-THC in their system and they had a child under the age of 15 in the vehicle that is a Class 6 aggravated DUI. That can potentially be overturned. If someone was driving with Carboxy-THC in the system while ordered to have an ignition interlock device in their vehicle that is a Class 4 aggravated DUI. That can potentially be overturned. If someone was driving with Carboxy-THC in their system, and it was their third DUI within seven years, that is a Class 4 aggravated DUI. That can be overturned potentially.