Peter J. Giovannini, TLC Class of 1997, recently had a good win DUI:
Client is a 26 year old kindergarten teacher with no criminal history. Dec. of 2009 had just left Bible study at approximately 8:10pm and was headed home on I-10 south of Las Cruces to Sunland Park, NM.
Was observed by sheriff’s Lt. heading south and he clocked her on his radar as she passed him going 80 in a 70 mph. zone.
Turns on lights and siren and she immediately pulls over–albeit to the left shoulder of the interstate, whereupon his video dash cam is rolling and he stomps toward her car and says words to the effect of “pull over to the other side of the interstate–you are going to cause a crash!! She told him she had a stomach ache and she thought he said, “go…go…I said, go!!!! in a very authoritative voice. Explaining to me that she had had very positive experiences with law enforcement in the past, e.g., an officer rescued her when she locked her keys in her car and another time she had a blowout on a tire and the officer changed the tire and escorted her home. Plus, her cousins boyfriend was an officer and he was very nice. She explained that she thought this officer was escorting her home as well. Then she noticed another officer following the first one and both had their lights and siren on–client clocked at 50mph for 7 miles after the initial stop. Client then sees several police cars as she approaches an overpass and something blocking the interstate. She did not want to hit it and the other sheriff’s were motioning her to stop. She brought her vehicle to a complete stop and several deputies ran up to her car and on audio, one officer says, “open the fuckin’ door while another says, “put your hands up!” Both were pointing guns in her face. She was scared to open the door (which was unlocked) believing if she dropped her hands she would be shot.
Client was taken to sub-station and given fields and did a blow. Failed fields and blew 0.0 twice. Lt. then called in DRE officer and he did the standard 12-step test and concluded “driving while impaired”. She admitted to both officers she was bi-polar and under a doctor’s care and was taking prescribed meds. She even offered to call Walgreen’s and did so to get the names of her meds for the officers. Client taken to a hospital for a blood draw. Sample sent to Albuq. and toxicology report came back with 3 of the meds “present” and the other two stating <0.10mg/l. Client could not afford an expert witness to explain the report so Peter cross examined the state's chemist and backed her into corners time and time again regarding the findings.
M.J. Keefe helped him prepare this case by doing re-enactments and role reversal with deputies, (actually had client present for one session), voir dire and some other lawyers who had been to Regionals. Also, he want to acknowledge that he owes a debt of gratitude to Kelli from Atlanta, Georgia for passing along some great DRE cross questions.
End result: Jurors out for less than 30-minutes with verdict of NOT GUILTY. Client was very worried that she would lose her kindergarten teaching job with conviction–she would also have her driver’s license revoked for up to 1-yr and she would be required to install an inter-lock device on any vehicle she operated for 1-year.
NOTE: After verdict, asst. d.a. who tried the case came over and opened his file and laid it in front of him to show him he granted my request to Nolle the case about a year ago by showing him his memo to his supervisor. Supervisor interlineated all over his memo how he could kick his ass and that it didn’t matter how cops treated his client and that she was driving while impaired to the slightest degree, and that jury would convict her!
A personal note from Peter-
THANK GOD I AM A WARRIOR AND THANKS TO ALL THE SELFLESS FELLOW WARRIORS WHO DROP STUFF TO JUMP IN THE FOXHOLE OF TRIAL WORK TO COVER EACH OTHERS BACK.