Interviewer: What advice can offer to individuals wondering if a past conviction can be overturned?
There Is Always the Possibility That the Arizona Legislature Will Undo This Recent Ruling on Overturning Past Convictions
Brian Sloan: I think the biggest thing is don’t delay. This is an opportunity that has shown itself now. It is an opportunity that may be fleeting. The legislature can undo all of this. It is something that needs to be done as soon as possible, regardless of how old the conviction is.
Get in touch with an attorney now, even if someone doesn’t necessarily have the funds now. At least take the step to find out if the person is a candidate to have this potentially overturned. If the person is a good candidate, I would think that they would be able to find friends and family members or dig deep to find the money to get these cases overturned.
Contact an Attorney Even If You Think You Lack the Funds to Proceed
It’s literally a good gamble. If someone’s paying me $500 in order to get back 1600-plus dollars, they’re going to end up making money on that. I may be able to tell them, while on the phone, whether this whole situation will work for them. So the biggest bit of advice is, “Don’t wait.” If someone can gather up their old police reports or, more importantly, gather up their old plea agreement and give us a call.
Interviewer: As far as appellate lawyers, would you have any that you can refer to someone if that was the case, or could you help someone find someone that you recommend?
Brian Sloan: I could. I do have my associates on the Arizona appeals team. This is an issue that they can handle if necessary.
Interviewer: If the legislature does undo this, but it has already been dismissed, could a prosecutor reopen it again?
Brian Sloan: No, the case cannot be retried.
It Is Advisable to Contact an Attorney If a Past Drug-Related DUI Was Attributed to a Drug Other Than Marijuana
Interviewer: You did mention drugs and medications. Are there any other possible drugs or medications that this may pertain to?
The Presence of the Inactive Metabolite of Any Drug May Be the Key to Overturning Other Drug-Related DUI Convictions
Brian Sloan: This can really apply to any inactive metabolite found in a person’s system from any form of drug or medication, as long as it is inactive. The case that came out of the Arizona Supreme Court was specifically about marijuana. Usually when we see cases that are dealing with inactive metabolites in a person’s system, we are dealing with marijuana. The Carboxy-THC, which is the inactive metabolite of the metabolite of marijuana, tends to remain in the person’s system for about 30 days.
Different types of drugs and medications have different amounts of time that the metabolites linger. The metabolites may be active or inactive. It is possible to overturn a conviction that was based on inactive medication metabolites, or inactive other drug metabolites. It might require that a scientist review the case and that could cost additional funds to determine whether this type of Arizona Supreme Court ruling would apply to someone.
If the Presence of an Impairing Substance Is Shown to Be Inactive—That Evidence Should Lead to the Overturning of a Conviction
I know of at least one case that my associate on the Arizona DUI team is handling, where the person is dealing with a metabolite of their prescription medication that the prosecutor intends on going forward with. It becomes a matter of “Is that metabolite active or inactive?” If it is inactive, then that should not be a conviction; that should lead to the case being dismissed.