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Arizona Not Guilty Verdict in Driving Under the Influence of Ambien Case

Scottsdale, AZ.  March 5, 2010 – David Michael Cantor’s office earned his client a not guilty verdict on the charges of driving under the influence of Ambien (i.e., DUI Drugs) in the case of State v. Niederer. A Scottsdale City Court jury found Niederer not guilty of the stated charges.

Cantor’s associate provided evidence that Niederer did well on field sobriety tests and that any mistakes observed were due to the effects of pain and fatigue Niederer was experiencing as a result of strep throat and not Ambien. The jury found that the Gas Chromatograph device utilized by the State to test Niederer’s blood was questionable and the State did not bring in any maintenance or calibration records on that particular device.

“We were able to provide evidence that Niederer did quite well on the field sobriety tests and any ill effects were not the cause of Ambien,” said David Michael Cantor. “As a result we were able to earn a not guilty verdict for our client.”

During cross examination of the State’s criminalist who analyzed the blood, an associate for Arizona criminal lawyer Cantor was able to get the criminalist to testify that she would perform poorly on a field sobriety test due to the fatigue and pain caused by a recent root canal. Another State’s expert admitted that although Niederer had Horizontal Gaze Nystagmus (an involuntary jerking of the eyes due to a neurological dysfunction). Ambien could cause this eye dysfunction without causing any driving impairment.

Due to the evidence provided by David Michael Cantor’s associate, the Scottsdale City Court jury returned a not guilty verdict on the charges of driving under the influence of drugs.

A Good Criminal Lawyer Saves You the Hassle of an Ineffective Assistance of Trial Counsel

Any criminal lawyer will tell you that the ineffective assistance of trial counsel is one of the most frequently raised claims in state and federal post conviction petitions. Considering the state of most state funded counseling these days, this is hardly surprising. Many state attorneys refuse to investigate their cases before trial, never meet with their clients before the trial, or fail to file any motions or object to inadmissible evidence during the trial. The circumstances of your case come down to the quality of your criminal lawyer. Choosing one may be the most important legal decision you make.

The American Bar Association released a recent conclusion that indigent defense in this country has reached a state of crisis. Many defenders are forced to handle well over a thousand cases a year, more than 3 times the ABA says a criminal lawyer can adequately handle. In this challenging tax economy, public defenders in many communities simply don’t have the funds to give their clients the adequate defense the Constitution demands.

Added to this burden, the very structure of our state and federal post conviction review systems further contributes to the problem instead of providing a solution. Procedural efforts to review it make it difficult for defendants to challenge the effectiveness of their criminal lawyer. As a result, there is really no way of prosecuting criminal lawyer incompetence, which leads to a system of unaccountability on the part of a community funded criminal lawyer.

Problems with State Post Conviction Review Procedures
Many states require defendants challenging the ineffective assistance of their trail counsel must do so through post conviction review, rather than on direct appeal. Most states limit direct appeal to statements and actions directly reflected by the trial record. Because proving ineffective assistance of trial counsel often depends upon a criminal lawyer and his or her failure to do something, the legal proceedings need to take in more than just the direct appeal.

Defense attorneys are given very short time windows to file such motions (often in as little as 30 days), so the defense they get to represent them is often the same one who is the subject of the motion, which creates a conflict of interest. It is very difficult to make a case in such the limited time period allowed.

Clients also have difficulty making legal claims asserting ineffective assistance of trial counsel because they have no Constitutional right to counsel on post conviction review. A client who must then represent himself during a post conviction review has to blindly deal with filing deadlines, substantiating evidence and prosecuting the case, which is beyond the capabilities of most of the accused.

The value of a quality criminal lawyer
The solution is to be represented by a reputable criminal lawyer from the beginning. While state funded lawyers may fulfill the state’s need to provide legal counsel, it is far from adequate legal counsel. If you need a criminal lawyer, any investment you can make in your case is worth the effort. A good lawyer can create a much more beneficial outcome that will make post conviction review completely irrelevant.

Money for quality legal advice is money that is well spent. When considering your future, get the best criminal lawyer you can afford, even if it means taking out a loan or other investment to fund the means.

When a Sex Abuse Attorney Encounters a “Repressed Memory” Case

One disturbing issue a sex abuse attorney comes routinely in contact with in the court room is the issue of “repressed memory.” Sadly, this pop psychological theory gone mad has put many innocent people behind bars and is still a reality today.

The concept of repressed memories first emerged in the late 1970s and early 1980s. What started as a pop fad spilled into the legal field and became an issue regularly faced by a sex abuse attorney. Repressed memories typically result when a woman seeks counseling, and her counselor helps her “discover” past memories of sexual abuse. She perhaps suffers from a variety of issues, and he suggests that her inability to maintain relationships may be caused by a past sexual abuse, which she then remembers with much do praise from the counselor.

The trouble with “repressed memory” is its actual validity in the legal field when a sex abuse attorney encounters it. The patient receives affirmation and attention from the counselor, therefore grounding the story as evidence for a sex abuse attorney to contend with. The patient is under duress about events that happened decades ago and is naturally upset. Laws set up in the 1980s required counselors to contact the authorities in these instances, who would then build cases that prosecuted perfectly innocent people.

Perfectly normal people needed the help of a sex abuse attorney. Luckily, the myth of “repressed memory” began to be exposed in the 1990s. Many counselors and child psychologists didn’t accept the theory on face value, and prosecutors became nervous at prosecuting them. Still, it occasionally remains an issue today, as a sex abuse attorney will still come across it from time to time.

The case of Dr. Earl Bradley
In February of 2010, a Delaware Grand Jury returned a 160 page indictment of Dr. Early Bradley, including 471 counts of sexual crimes involving 103 children. Bradley sought the legal services of a sex abuse attorney. The police have asked to interview all the children involved. The problem is that many of the parents of these children maintain that their children were emotionally unaffected and that the trial experience would only be traumatic for them.

The prosecutor cites the “repressed memory” issue as a reason to do the interviews, maintaining that the process may uncover other instances of wrongdoing that would prove helpful to the prosecution. Yet the myth of repressed memory is well known to your average sex abuse attorney. Stories based on emotional disturbance in a counseling session have questionable authenticity. While they may prove helpful to a counseling session, they have no place in a court room before a sex abuse attorney.

Truth is in the eye of the beholder
Luckily, more judges and prosecutors are seeing the inherent faultiness of repressed memories, so they are becoming less common, although they still surface from time to time. A sex abuse attorney should always make a point of highlighting the vast amount of doubt created in a repressed memory instance, as it has no place in a court room. Until a higher court decides to make a concrete ruling on repressed memories, they will always come into question. All we can use to protect clients from them is our own common sense, from the judge to the jury.

Arizona Criminal Attorney Earns a Verdict of Not Guilty of DUI and a Hung Verdict on the Charges of DWI

Scottsdale, AZ.  March 4, 2010Arizona Criminal Attorney David Michael Cantor’s office earned his client a verdict of not guilty of DUI and a hung verdict on the charges of DWI in the case of State v. Levitz. A Scottsdale City Court jury found that Levitz was not guilty of DUI (impaired to the slightest degree) and they hung on the issue of whether he had a blood alcohol content of .08 or higher (i.e., DWI).

According to a BAC test, Levitz blood alcohol content was a .120 but criminal attorney David Michael Cantor’s associate was able to provide concern of the fact that the test analyst for the City of Scottsdale used an alcohol based hand sanitizer prior to testing the blood sample. In addition, Cantor was able to show that the criminalist did not properly put on gloves prior to the testing.

“The test analyst did not properly follow the necessary procedures before conducting the blood alcohol content test and the field sobriety test showed that Levitz was not impaired,” said criminal attorney David Michael Cantor. “We were able to provide this evidence to the jury and they returned successful verdicts for our client.”

Criminal attorney David Michael Cantor’s associate was able to provide evidence that the field sobriety test showed that Levitz was not impaired. Levitz had only four cues on the Horizontal Gaze Nystagmus Test (i.e., the Eye Test) which the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration states is indicative of being a .05 BAC. Because the scientific community will testify that all people are impaired at a BAC of .08, but below that level many people are not impaired, the jury found Levitz not guilty of DUI.

Due to the fact that Levitz was found not guilty of being impaired to the slightest degree, it is unlikely that the State will retry the charge of DWI because the not guilty verdict necessarily indicates that Levitz’s BAC was not a .08 or higher.

Defense Attorney Provides Evidence to Get Extreme DUI Case Dismissed

Scottsdale, AZ.  March 3, 2010Arizona Criminal Defense attorney David Michael Cantor’s office was able to provide evidence to a Scottsdale City Court judge that got the case of State v. Norman dismissed. Norman was facing a charge of second offense of extreme DUI after failing a blood alcohol content test with a .164 BAC.

Defense attorney Cantor’s associate was able to provide evidence that Norman was taken into custody and requested to contact an attorney who was out of state. However, police officers did provide Norman with a telephone that allowed him to contact an out-of-state- attorney, stating that he could not allow Norman to use a cell phone because Norman could use that cell phone as a weapon.

“Norman was not properly offered the right to an attorney and that alone is cause to have an entire case dismissed,” said defense attorney David Michael Cantor.

During an Evidentiary Hearing in front of a judge, defense attorney Cantor’s associate was able to point out that Norman was not handcuffed, and could have used a belt or shoe, among other things, as a weapon. However, none of this concerned the officer. Therefore, the judge found that the officer was being disingenuous when he stated that he would not provide Norman’s cell phone because it could be “used as a weapon”.

The judge found that Norman’s right to counsel was violated and he ruled that under the U.S. Supreme Court case of U.S. v Gonzalez-Lopez (2006) that the entire case should be dismissed.


If you would like more information about hiring a Scottsdale DUI Lawyer, please call our offices at (602) 307-0808.


Every Criminal Defense Lawyer Should Question Forensic Evidence

In February of 2009, the National Academy of Sciences (NAS) released a landmark report on forensic evidence that would have lasting effects on the career of every criminal defense lawyer. The report raised serious questions on the credibility of forensic science that shook the foundations of the legal system all the way to the Supreme Court. Justice Scalia acknowledged: “forensic evidence is not uniquely immune to the risk of manipulation.”

Allegations of forensic evidence being used without backup of substantial evidence are common in the legal field and the experience of a criminal defense lawyer. Forensic evidence frequently finds itself in the court room being taken at face value without anyone bothering to check its credentials. A good criminal defense lawyer will be aware of the inherent problems involved in forensic evidence and make these weaknesses apparent throughout the course of the trial.

Though silent for decades, recent challenges to the validity of forensic evidence have surfaced over the last several years. While most were not strong enough to have the evidence thrown out, a good criminal defense lawyer can at least limit the credibility of the expert testimony and call the evidence into question. The forensic community took these challenges very seriously and requested that Congress authorized NAS to use a team of legal experts including a criminal defense lawyer to study the issue.

The NAS Study
The NAS Study included a team of forensic sciences, a laboratory director, university scientists, medical examiners, a judge, a former prosecutor, a criminal defense lawyer, and a law professor. Meeting for 8 sessions, the committee listened to expert testimony on the issue and came up with its own conclusions.

The NAS studied concluded that forensic science facilities have great variation in “capacity, oversight staffing, certification, and accreditation across federal and state jurisdictions.” It found that educational programs are not up to par with other scientific disciplines, and that many labs do not set standards based on thorough research and testing, or participate in certification and accreditation programs. In order to improve the reliability of forensic evidence to the criminal defense lawyer, the process needs substantiation, the study concluded.

The committee recommended several ways to remedy the inherent weakness of forensic science. The committee recommended the creation of an independent agency to oversee the field. They also suggested separating crime laboratories from law enforcement. Though these are controversial measures, a criminal defense lawyer could argue that it serves to substantiate the evidence.

Lack of standards
The NAS study concluded that the lack of standards in regards to forensic evidence is particularly troublesome and throws serious doubts on such evidence. Much of the forensic evidence was found to lack creditable support, relying primarily heavily on subjunctive evidence.

The importance of questioning forensic evidence
As the issue further evolves, forensic evidence will become more substantiated. The process will be overseen by a independent legal body through a standard sets of procedures that protect its validity.

In its current form, however, forensic evidence presents more legal questions than answers. A criminal defense lawyer must make these doubts part of the case. In an American courtroom, guilt must be beyond the shadow of a doubt. Forensic evidence remains clouded by doubt and deserves to be discredited in a court room. Questioning the validity of forensic evidence by a criminal defense lawyer can have great affects on the outcome of a legal case.

Defense Lawyer Earns a Hung Jury Verdict on Multiple Charges

Scottsdale, AZ. March 2, 2010Arizona criminal lawyer David Michael Cantor’s office earned his client a hung verdict on all three charges in the case of State v. Shinn. A Scottsdale City Court jury returned the hung verdict on charges of DUI, DWI and extreme DWI.

“At first look, the State appeared to have a very strong case against our client,” said defense lawyer David Michael Cantor. “After extensive examination and research, we were able to identify numerous flaws in the State’s case and earn our client a hung verdict as well as a significantly reduced plea offer.”

The state claimed that Shinn’s blood alcohol content was a .187, however, defense lawyer David Michael Cantor’s associate was able to provide evidence to the contrary. The defense lawyer was able to show that the field sobriety tests indicated that Shinn was not impaired, and he was able to show that the officer’s eye test was not admissible.

Defense lawyer David Michael Cantor’s associate was also able to provide evidence that the City of Scottsdale Police Department was using an old Gas Chromatograph machine that has been replaced by a more reliable machine. Also, the State did not present any maintenance or calibration records which would show that that the machine was working accurately and correctly.

The prosecution has now offered defense lawyer David Michael Cantor and his client a substantially reduced plea offer in order to prevent having to retry the case.

About DM Cantor
DM Cantor feature criminal defense attorneys in Arizona who are ready to represent you. As Arizona’s premier defense lawyer, David Michael Cantor defends DUI/ DWI cases, vehicular crimes, homicide, drug and sex offenses, white collar and property crimes.  David Michael Cantor is AV Rated – the highest rating possible – and was voted a Top 100 trial lawyer. David Michael Cantor has been interviewed and has appeared on Inside Edition, the CBS Morning Show, Good Morning America, CNN Prime News, Hannitty and Combs, and every local news channel including Univision. In addition, his cases have been covered by CNN, MSNBC, and even Howard Stern.


Phoenix Criminal Attorney Gets Judge to Over-Rule City Court’s Denial of Motion to Suppress

Phoenix, AZ.  March 1, 2010Arizona criminal attorney David Michael Cantor’s Law Office provided evidence that had a Maricopa County Superior Court Appellate Judge over-rule the Scottsdale City Court’s denial of Motion to Suppress a blood alcohol content test in the case of State v. Nokes. The Appellate Judge suppressed Nokes’ .215 blood alcohol content.

Nokes was arrested by the police for an extreme DWI (i.e., above .15 BAC) and requested to call an attorney prior to a blood test. The officer said (in a taped interview) that he could not recall if Nokes requested an attorney prior to the blood test or after providing blood. An associate for Phoenix criminal attorney Cantor filed a Denial of Right to Counsel Motion, and during the Evidentiary Hearing, the officer now stated that he had a specific recollection that Nokes’ requested an attorney after already providing blood. The officer was subsequently impeached on the stand when the taped interview showed that earlier he stated he had no recollection.

“The case of State v. Nokes should have been dismissed by the Scottsdale City Court judge,” said Phoenix criminal attorney David Michael Cantor. “However, we were forced to appeal to the Superior Court and ultimately got the BAC test suppressed for our client.”

The judge in the Scottsdale City Court denied the Motion even given all this information. Upon appeal, the Superior Court Judge found that the judge in Scottsdale City Court was completely unreasonable and had ignored evidence in order to rule for the State.

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