Jurors tend to trust peace officers’ testimony due to the authority that officers hold in the community. Additionally, prosecutors also tend to believe the officers’ reports because officers are suppose to protect and serve and uphold the laws. Yet, could that trust be misplaced?
In at least two cases, the answer is a resounding “yes.”
One trooper has been accused of lying on the witness stand, providing false information in a drug possession case and a DUI case. According to a memo by her supervisor, there were multiple instances where the trooper’s laboratory test results conflicted with her arrest reports.
Her false information potentially led to the arrest and prosecution of multiple, possibly hundreds, defendants, including those whose toxicology tests only showed remnants (inactive metabolites) of drugs in their blood or none at all.
Thankfully, at least one judge’s ruling will prevent her from testifying in future cases. The UHP has also started the process to fire her.
For any defendant who has faced the trooper, however, that is simply not enough. The UHP memo came out in a few years ago, but no discipline action has been taken until now. Which raises the questions — Why not? Are there other cases like this?
In any criminal defense case, the result will rely on a number of factors: The testimony from witnesses on both sides, the evidence presented to the court, the defense lawyer and prosecutor’s skills, and the law. Criminal defense attorneys were able to prove that Steed’s testimony was questionable in the DUI and drug possession cases. Because she was the arresting officer, there is a good chance that her testimony and the resulting objections affected their cases, potentially to the defendants’ benefit.
This is one of the reasons why it is important to hire a skilled criminal defense lawyer.
An attorney can review all of the evidence, note problems with testimony and fight aggressively for a defendant’s rights and constitutional freedoms.
We Prepare Diligently. We Concede Nothing. Call Us For A Powerful Defense.
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Greg S. Law, provides aggressive criminal defense representation in the Salt Lake City area and throughout the state of Utah, including cities such as Ogden, Provo, Park City, Sandy, Orem, Heber, Vernal, Duchesne, Roosevelt, Tooele, West Valley City, West Jordan, Kearns, Murray, Cottonwood Heights, Layton, Kaysville, Farmington, Centerville, Bountiful, Price, Moab, Cedar City and St. George. Salt Lake County ∙ Davis County ∙ Weber County ∙ Utah County ∙ Summit County (UT)