Remember that time we told you about the Tampa Highway Patrol officer that falsified DUI reports? Well it looks like Florida is not the only state to be dealing with this issue. ABC News reports that a class action lawsuit has been filed in Utah alleging similar misconduct by a local highway patrol officer—but this time on a much larger scale. Looks like former Utah Highway Patrol officer Lisa Steed and her superiors will have a lot of questions to answer in the coming months.
Ironically enough, Steed was recognized as Utah Highway Patrol’s “Trooper of the Year” back in 2007 for making more than 200 DUI arrests. Now it looks like many of those 200 arrests were more than questionable. Much like the Tampa case, evidence against Steed includes police cam video footage, witness testimony and clean chemical tests of individuals accused of driving under the influence. Some of the individuals Steed accused of driving under the influence had no alcohol in their system at all and passed their field sobriety tests with flying colors—Steed nevertheless arrested them for driving under the influence.
ABC News quotes Salt Lake City attorney Joseph Jardine on the case: “The cumulative facts may well have a significant ripple effect across every case she’s touched. This could become the basis for overturning multiple convictions in the past.” After ten years working as a police officer, Steed was fired this past November amid various misconduct allegations. She is currently appealing her dismissal.
So what now for the many individuals that were the unfortunate victims of Steed’s false DUI reports? In addition to monetary compensation, attorneys in this class action lawsuit will also seek to have any convictions that may have stemmed from the falsified reports overturned. In all of the case filed against Steed, the DUI charges were ultimately dropped or reduced; but each individual suffered monetary loss in the form of bail, car impound and court fees. Generally speaking, a conviction can be overturned for a variety of reasons including:
-Problems with the original trial
Many individuals that confront a possible DUI conviction feel incredibly intimidated by the process. As both the Tampa and Utah officer cases have revealed in recent months, some police officers will go to extreme (and illegal) lengths to make a DUI arrest. Knowing that, it is important to always stay calm and get in touch with a DUI defense attorney as soon as possible. It is easy for us to identify wrongdoing and we will be sure to fight for your rights.
If you have recently been arrested for driving under the influence in Florida, give the law firm of Finebloom & Haenel P.A. a call today. We have years of experience defending DUI charges and will work hard to get you the best results possible. We are available day and night for an obligation-free consultation on your case. We look forward to hearing from you.