Earlier this month, a state appellate court issued a written opinion in an Arizona drug case involving allegations that the defendant possessed methamphetamine with the intent to deliver. The case presented the court with the opportunity to discuss whether the results of a blood test that was administered to the defendant on the day of her arrest were admissible. The court concluded that they were.
The Facts of the Case
According to the court’s opinion, the defendant was pulled over after a police officer noticed that the car the defendant was driving did not have a temporary registration tag displayed. During the traffic stop, the officer noticed that the defendant exhibited signs of intoxication. The defendant was placed under arrest for driving under the influence.
After the defendant’s arrest, the officer conducted an inventory search of the car, which was registered to the defendant’s sister. During the search, the officer located an eyeglasses case inside a coat pocket. Inside the eyeglasses cases was a pipe and some methamphetamine. The defendant was taken into the police station, and her blood was taken. The results came back showing that the defendant had methamphetamine in her blood. The defendant was then charged with transportation of a dangerous drug for sale, possession of a dangerous drug for sale, possession of a dangerous drug, and possession of drug paraphernalia.
The defendant pleaded guilty to two misdemeanor counts of DUI, and plead not guilty to the drug charges, which proceeded to a jury trial. At trial, the prosecutor sought to admit evidence of the blood-test results indicating that the defendant had methamphetamine in her system. The defendant filed a pretrial motion to exclude this evidence.
The court determined that the evidence was admissible, but not as proof that the defendant possessed the drugs for sale. The court explained that by pleading not guilty of the drug offenses, the defendant was claiming she had no knowledge of the drugs in her car. The court explained that blood-test results showing she had methamphetamine in her system were relevant to the determination of whether the defendant knew that the same type of drug was in the car. Thus, although the prosecution was unable to present the defendant’s blood-test results as substantive evidence of her guilt, the evidence was admissible to establish her knowledge of the drugs.
Have You Been Arrested for an Arizona Drug Crime?
If you have recently been arrested and charged with an Arizona drug crime, contact Attorney James E. Novak. Attorney Novak is a dedicated Arizona DUI defense attorney with extensive experience representing clients in all types of cases, including Arizona DUIs as well as other offenses that may be charged in conjunction with a DUI. To learn more about how Attorney Novak can help you defend against the changes you are facing, call 480-413-1499 to schedule your free consultation today.
Other Articles of Interest from The Law Office of James Novak’s Phoenix DUI Blog:
Court Holds Reasonable Suspicion Exists to Pull Over Vehicle if Owner’s License Is Suspended, Phoenix DUI Law Blog, November 13, 2018
Arizona Has Some of the Harshest Penalties for Those Convicted of Driving Under the Influence, Even for First-Time Offenders, Phoenix DUI Law Blog, October 17, 2018