R. Michael Vang, P.C. makes no guarantee as to the outcome of any case. Each case is different including facts, circumstances, and situations.
FELONY “SERIOUS BODILY INJURY” DUI CHARGE IS DISMISSED AFTER FILING PRETRIAL MOTIONS ON CLIENT’S BEHALF
Case: Client and another individual are injured on an all-terrain-vehicle (ATV) and after both individuals recover from injuries sustained in accident and the Client is eventually charged with a felony serious bodily injury DUI charge. The Client hires another attorney, who allows the matter to be set for jury trial. The matter is set for final pretrial conference and Mr. R. Michael Vang enters his appearance and reviews discovery. Mr. Vang files a number of pretrial motions and requests a motion hearing. After an initial hearing concerning the motions and resetting the matter for further hearings and a jury trial, the State of Wyoming admits it cannot prove the charge and the matter is dismissed and the jury trial is vacated.
Result: The Felony “Serious Bodily Injury” DUI charge was dismissed after Mr. Vang was substituted as counsel and the State reviewed Mr. Vang’s suppression motions.
‘PER SE’ DUI CHARGE FOR HAVING A BAC LEVEL OF 0.08% OR MORE AMENDED TO OTHER CHARGE
Case: Wyoming Highway Patrol Trooper claims there is an anonymous REDDI report for Client and that he has observed that the Client has obscured his vehicle’s license plate with snow. Client is driving back from hunting and allegedly does poorly on field sobriety maneuvers and is arrested for DUI. On the day of motion hearing for DUI charge, the State of Wyoming (State) provides Mr. Vang with discovery for the breath machine that was used to create the blood alcohol concentration (BAC) levels of 0.138% and 0.147%. Based upon the scientific evidence disclosed to Mr. Vang right before the motion hearing, Mr. Vang was able to get the State’s witnesses to admit that there was an error message with the breath machine that required a waiting period prior to any further breath testing, which did not occur with the Client’s breath samples. Based upon Mr. Vang’s cross-examination of the State’s witnesses at the motion hearing, the State admitted that the BAC level was not admissible to prove the “per se” DUI charge.
Result: The DUI charge was amended and the Client has accepted a plea offer to the amended charge. The admissibility of the BAC level of 0.08% or more to uphold the proposed implied consent suspension is pending in the underlying administrative proceeding.
‘PER SE’ DUI CHARGE FOR HAVING A BAC LEVEL OF 0.08% OR MORE IS DISMISSED BY PROSECUTOR
Case: Cheyenne Police Officer arrested the Client for a DUI charge and obtained a search warrant for a blood draw, after the Client refused consent for breath testing. The Wyoming Department of Health Chemical Testing Program (WCTP) provided a LITIGATION SUPPORT PACKAGE (LSP) to prove the blood samples of interest were analyzed in compliance with the WCTP’s approved methods as required to admit the blood alcohol concentration (BAC) levels of 0.138% and 0.147%. Based upon the LSP, Mr. Vang is able to show the Cheyenne City Attorney and the Court that had entered the search warrant that there is an eighteen (18) – day gap in the “chain of custody” for the blood samples of interest from the time of the blood draw to the time the samples were allegedly “hand delivered” to the WCTP.
Result: The City of Cheyenne admits the lack of chain of custody renders the BAC level inadmissible and that it can no longer prove the DUI charge and the City voluntarily dismisses the DUI charge. The admission of BAC level of 0.08% or more to uphold the proposed implied consent suspension is currently pending in the implied consent proceeding.
CLIENT CHARGED WITH UNLAWFUL TURN, DESTRUCTION OF EVIDENCE, INTERFERENCE WITH PEACE OFFICER, OPEN CONTAINER AND ‘PER SE’ DUI CHARGE FOR BAC LEVEL OF 0.08% OR MORE
Case: Client was arrested for allegedly making an improper U-Turn in front of another law enforcement officer, who did not stop the client. The video recording in the case does not show the alleged traffic violation, but records the initial encounter with the arresting officer. The arresting officer claimed that the client smelled of alcohol, had slurred speech and blood shot eyes and requested the client driver’s license and registration. The arresting officer claimed the client then attempted to destroy evidence, when the client began to pour coke into a cup of ice. Client placed under arrest for destroying evidence and arresting officer and a third officer claim client is now resisting arrest. Search of the back of the client’s vehicle uncovers three (3) open vodka bottles and client is also charged with open container in a vehicle. Officer obtains a search warrant and the client is required to provide blood samples that result in an alleged blood alcohol concentration (BAC) level of 0.157% and 0.152%. Client loses motion hearing and client’s expert is not allowed to testify at jury trial concerning the validity of the underlying BAC level to prove the DUI charge.
Jury Verdict: Not guilty on all charges except the DUI for having a BAC level of 0.08% or more.
Appeal: The admission of the BAC level to prove the “per se” element of a DUI charge and denial of the Client’s ability to confront and rebut the scientific validity of the BAC level is currently pending on appeal.
CLIENT ‘PER SE’ DUI CHARGE FOR BAC LEVEL OF 0.08% OR MORE
Case: Client was stopped for failing to maintain a single lane of travel, while driving down a curved road. The video recording in the case is not conclusive of the traffic issue and the client is not cited for the traffic violation. During the traffic stop, the arresting officer claimed that the client smelled of alcohol, had blood shot eyes and slurred speech and requested that the client perform field sobriety maneuvers. Although Wyoming law does not require a person to cooperate with a DUI investigation and to perform maneuvers for law enforcement, the client acquiesced to the officer’s request to cooperate, which ultimately resulted in the client’s arrest. The client provided warrantless breath tests under Wyoming’s implied consent law, which were analyzed with a breath machine that resulted in an alleged blood alcohol concentration (BAC) level of 0.175% and 0.175%.
Jury Verdict: After almost four (4) – four hours of deliberation, jury finds Client guilty of having a BAC level of 0.08% or more.
Appeal: The matter is currently pending on appeal to resolve the issue whether the BAC level from the chemical analysis of the warrantless breath samples is admissible under the “search incident to lawful arrest” and the “is deemed to have given consent” to warrantless chemical testing provisions of Wyoming Statute § 31-6-102(a)(i). The Court in Birchfield v. North Dakota, 579 U.S. ---, ---, 136 S. Ct. 2160, 2185, 195 L. Ed. 2d 560, 588 (2016) recently determined that: “Because breath tests are significantly less intrusive than blood tests and in most cases amply serve law enforcement interests, we conclude that a breath test, but not a blood test, may be administered as a search incident to a lawful arrest for drunk driving.” The appeal involves whether Article 1, § 4 of the Wyoming Constitution creates greater rights than the Fourth Amendment, which prevents the warrantless production of “all biological samples” in DUI and implied consent cases, including “breath” samples for chemical testing.