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An Example of DUI Cases Involving Unnecessary Police Force

Interviewer: Have any of your clients been tasered?

Brian Sloan: Yes. I’ve had a few of them. I’m actually representing one client now who supposedly was tasered twice and pepper sprayed, and he was simply charged with DUI. They charged him with resisting arrest, which was quite odd because, in my opinion, it’s impossible to charge him with resisting arrest.

This is because even the police officer says that they were investigating a DUI, and if you’re investigating a DUI that means that the person could not have been under arrest for a DUI, and if they were not going to be under arrest for a DUI, how could they be resisting the arrest for the DUI? It’s impossible to be arrested for something that they’re still investigating.

I did have one client who was arrested for DUI and this case occurred years ago. He just kept insisting to talk to an attorney, and he was getting pretty angry about it, and there was a female sergeant that for some reason got into a tussle with him because he insisted on talking to an attorney. And the female sergeant pulled out a taser and tasered him in the scrotum. For whatever reason, he did not want to sue and the female sergeant, to give her credit, did admit to it. She didn’t try to hide it.

There are certain models of tasers that officer’s carry. I don’t think it’s necessarily the same model per police agency, but the tasers can be deployed from a distance. That is when they are not using the stun gun, but actually used as a taser with the probes being shot out. There’s supposed to be little pieces of paper that fly out to indicate that the taser has been deployed.

There are other models of taser that once the safety is taken off, I believe it is, video camera starts recording. I’ve yet to ever get any sort of taser video. I’ve never seen any of these little pieces of paper, but I have had the clients that do get tasered.

Juries Tend to Not Sympathize With Defendants Who Were Tasered By Police

It’s more of a civil issue. I’m not a civil attorney. It usually does not come up in a criminal case because if someone got tasered, that tends to look bad on the someone that was tasered, not necessarily look bad on the officer. Juries tend to believe that if a person got tasered it’s because they did something really bad and that the officer was warranted in tasering them. That does is not a good reflection on our client, so we keep it out of trial.

Different Cities in Arizona Interpret DUI Law in Different Ways

Different cities will interpret DUI laws differently. In Phoenix there’s absolutely no chance of getting a reckless driving. There is a law that says that a prosecutor cannot dismiss a DUI unless it is factually insufficient. Prosecutors in Phoenix will never offer a reckless driving in exchange for dismissing DUI charges.

It Is Beneficial to Retain an Attorney Well-Versed in How Different Courts Treat DUI Cases

It is possible to get a reckless driving from a DUI case in Mesa, Scottsdale, and Tempe under the right circumstances and with the right DUI attorney. They don’t read the law the same way. I don’t know why certain prosecutorial agencies read the laws differently. It is possible to get benefits in certain courts that you can’t get in other courts.

For example, all the justice courts do not have home detention or continuous alcohol monitoring. All the city courts, or municipal courts as they’re also known, do have home detention. Phoenix has continuous alcohol monitoring, which I find very beneficial for my clients, but not everyone realizes that. Not everyone knows that. That’s where experience comes into play.

You need to know what court you’re in. You need to know the benefits and the downfall of the different courts. There are only really two courts that I’m aware of where it’s possible to get credit for the time that you spent with the officers towards a day in jail.

There are only three courts that I’m aware of where you’re able to get an extreme reduction on jail time with home detention as well as having an ignition Interlock device installed in your car. You really need to know what hoops you need to jump through and what the rules are in that specific courtroom. That, again, is where experience comes into play.

Interviewer: Does it matter who pulls you over and investigates you? Is it different if a sheriff’s deputy does it versus highway patrol versus city police or any other kinds of police?

Brian Sloan: Not really. Certain agencies, such as the ASU Police Department and Glendale Police Department have video cameras, so I would much rather be pulled over by, if I was going to be pulled over, by one of those agencies. Many of the different police agencies have agreements so that they can cross into other cities.

But for all intents and purposes, there’s not much of a difference in the agency that stops you, except that if it was a Tempe police officer, in which case you are very likely going to have a breath test. Which personally, I’m sure people would much prefer over a blood test, but there’s no opportunity to retest a breath test. All the other city police officers will very likely do a blood test, which is much more uncomfortable when it’s done, but it at least preserves evidence that can be retested if necessary.

By Brian Douglas Sloan

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AZ DUI Defense Lawyer Brian Douglas Sloan
  • 13+ Years SOLELY Focused on DUI Defense
  • Represented 2,600+ DUI Clients
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  • Top One Percent in the Nation"
    National Association of Distinguished Counsel
  • “Top 10 DUI Lawyers in Arizona”
    National Academy of Criminal Defense Attorneys
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    American Institute of DUI/DWI Attorneys
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