Winning operating while intoxicated cases in Oakland County is not an easy task. Very few criminal defense attorneys have ever conducted, let alone won a drunk driving jury trial. Drunk driving trial lawyer Jim Amberg routinely conducts OWI jury trials and wins. Here are some examples of recent trial successes in this past year:
Not Guilty of Operating With the Presence of Drugs-In a case at the 35th District Court in Plymouth, Jim was able to secure a not guilty verdict in a case where his client was stopped by officers after multiple calls to the police station for bad driving. The video from the officer's car camera showed the client's vehicle driving on the opposite side of the road, nearly hitting multiple vehicles before finally stopping. Jim's client was unable to speak or even stand, had to be held up by officers, and ultimately failed all of the sobriety tests. A blood draw was performed, with quantifiable readings of codiene, morphine, xanax, and ambien. Nevertheless, Jim took the case to trial and was able to show, without any expert testimony, that his client, a paramedic, was suffering a medical issue resulting from his borderline diabetes. The jury acquitted the client and he was able to keep his job.
Not Guilty 2nd Offense OWI-In a difficult trial located at the 51st District Court in Waterford in which a victim had suffered a serious injury resulting from falling off of the motorcycle driven by the defendant, Jim Amberg was able to convince the jury that his client was innocent of all charges. In the case there were accusations that the defendant was weaving in and out of lanes on his crotch rocket motorcycle. It was testified by independent witnesses that a sudden acceleration caused the client's passenger to fall off the back of the bike into oncoming traffic on M-59. Once the officers arrived, the client was unable to pronounce his ABC's and he was alleged to have failed the sobriety tests. A datamaster breath test performed at the Waterford Police Station revealed an illegal blood alcohol content. In response to this, Jim brutally cross-examined the police officers on everything from how to properly administer field sobriety tests to why a datamaster is not the most accurate test available to officers. After a short deliberation, the jury came back and found the client not guilty.
Not Guilty Operating While Intoxicated in the 52-3 District Court-In a case which fellow defense attorneys called "impossible," Jim Amberg successfully obtained a not guilty verdict in one of the most difficult courts in Michigan, the 52-3 District Court in Rochester Hills. Jim's client was taken into custody after she had crashed into a car which was stopped at a traffic light on Tienken Rd in Rochester Hills. The officer in charge indicated the client had failed all of the sobriety tests and she ultimately blew a .12 blood alcohol content on the Rochester Hills datamaster machine. At trial , Jim repeatedly argued that his client's indigestion caused the datamaster to be inaccurate. Even the officer eventually agreed that had he known about the indigestion, he would have given the client a blood draw. This trial was conducted without the use of an expert witness. After 45 minutes of deliberations, the jury came back and found Jim's client not guilty.
Not Guilty Operating While Intoxicated in the 48th District Court-Out of the over 100 jury trials that Amberg & Amberg trial lawyer Jim Amberg has conducted, this trial in particular serves as an example that you can win a drunk driving trial, no matter how bad the facts are. In the case, Jim 's client was a lifetime beer delivery truck driver who was pulled over on Telegraph Road in Bloomfield Hills for erratic driving while he was returning home from a bachelor party. The client, on video, was unable to stand, and unable to perform any of the standardized field sobriety tests because, as he told the officers, "I'm going to fall over if I lift my leg up." Ultimately, the client blew a .15 bac on the datamaster machine. Trial was the only option in this case as any OWI conviction would have resulted in the loss of the client's commercial driver license and loss of the only job he'd known for the past 25 years. What made it worse was that the case took place before Judge D'Agostini, who is known to hand out jail sentences for first time OWI offenders. Once the trial got going, Jim was relentless in attacking the officers credibility and the credibility of the breath test. Without any expert, Jim was able to show the jury that the officers did not understand how to administer any of the tests. The jury came back with a not guilty verdict, which stunned the prosecutor, court, the client, and even Jim's private investigator, who nearly fell off of his chair in disbelief!
Not Guilty of Operating With a High Blood Alcohol Content in Clarkston-It's not every day that a client wins a drunk driving jury trial, let alone a high blood alcohol superdrunk driving jury trial with a blood test score of a .22 in northern Oakland County! Yet this is exactly what happened when the elected prosecutor for Oakland County, Jessica Cooper, refused to offer Jim's client a deal to a regular OWI. The facts of the case found Jim's client standing bloody and disheveled next to his crashed vehicle telling the Oakland County Sheriff Deputies that "they made me drive." This seemed to be a simple case for the People, as the client's blood was drawn, tested by the State Lab, and resulted in the aforementioned .22 bac. But the trial didn't turn out that way for the People as Jim systematically destroyed all of the officer and lab witnesses. It got so bad for the People that the jury only deliberated for 10 minutes before finding Jim's client not guilty!
Hung Jury in an Epic Superdrunk Driving Case with $250,000.00 in Restitution-Although a hung jury isn't as good as winning outright, Jim Amberg's hung jury in a high publicity high bac owi case in the 52-2 in Troy is one of the more incredible results he's ever seen. The facts sound like a Michael Bay action movie, the client drove his rental car at high speeds down Maplelawn (the street with all of the car dealerships) and hit the flowerbed in front of the Cadillac Dealership. The client's vehicle then went airborn, taking out a metal light police and striking the Cadillac sign before landing on and completely destroying five Cadillacs placed out for sale. The debris field from the force of this caused damage to an additional 25 vehicles. The client's vehicle finally came to rest above the last car, where officers discovered it teetering and the client sound asleep. A blood draw was performed and the results were above the high bac threshold. Although this case was something which most lawyers would have simply pled their clients guilty with no deals and waived to them as they go to jail, Jim had a different idea. The jury trial commenced and after tearing apart the State's Forensic Scientist witness, the jury came back hung after a trial that took over four days to complete. In lieu of retrying the case, the Oakland County Prosecutor's Office offered a reduction and the client walked out of the court with fines and costs!
Other examples of Trial Victories-Jim has too many stories to tell about different not guilty verdicts in drunk driving cases. Examples include a not guilty of high bac in the 50th District Court in Pontiac on a .27 bac, a not guilty in the 52-3 District Court for a .19 out of Oxford, and a not guilty in Detroit on a .15 State Police case. Although Jim is known as a drunk driving trial lawyer, he is also known as a major felony trial attorney, with not guilty verdicts reached in major federal drug and racketeering cases, attempted murder cases, felonious assaults with firearms, and many many more trial victories for all sorts of different types of criminal cases.