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How Can Your Defense Attorney Dispute a Police Officer’s Claim and Cross-Examine the Arresting Officer?

Interviewer: If you have a case where the police say one thing and your client says something totally different, how do you go about breaking that down? I understand you can question the police officer in a trial, but how else do you go about finding out that there’s truly a discrepancy and proving it, or at least casting doubt on it?

Throughout the State of Arizona, the Arresting Officer Will Almost Always Testify Against You at Trial

Brian Sloan: Unfortunately, cases in the city courts in Maricopa County and pretty much most of Arizona, the evidence presented against my client will come down to what the officer says. It’s going to come down, not to what the truth is, but what the evidence will show, and the officer usually has no reason not to testify.

Occasionally, the defendant has reasons not to testify, such as they have prior convictions that they don’t want to come out or there are other issues in the case that they don’t want to talk about.

Your Defense Attorney Will try to Find Discrepancies in the Officer’s Testimony and Try to Disprove There was Reasonable Suspicion

So police officers will always get their say. The defendant occasionally will not get to tell their side of the story, so a lot of it does come down to interviewing the police officer, making sure I know exactly what their testimony would be at trial and impeaching them if their testimony changes during trial.


A common tactic I incorporate is trying to show that the police officer was not fair. They weren’t fair in the way that they made the defendant perform the field sobriety tests. They weren’t fair in the way that they pulled over the person’s car. They weren’t fair in the way that they treated the suspect and I try to parlay that into, “This officer is not fair; this officer is not to be believed.”

Other than that, not everyone has witnesses. There isn’t a video camera that captures everything. Not everyone is driving with passengers in the vehicle. However, sometimes there are instances where people do have passengers.

I have a client now who had five passengers in his vehicle. All five of those people may need to testify and I am expecting them to testify the same way that my client testifies. However, the judge will probably believe the officer because the officer is the officer and the other five people are friends of the defendant and, of course, they’re all going to agree on the story.

The Police Do Want to Add to Their Conviction Rate

So the officer’s more believable because he doesn’t have a horse in the race when the fact of the matter is the officers really aren’t independent people, they want convictions. They don’t only just pursue justice they also want convictions.

Your Defense Attorney Will Search for Evidence That Establishes Your Claim and Can Disprove What the Police Are Claiming

Interviewer: Has there been any evidence that’s come up to establish one side of the ‘he said she said’ equation as being right? Is there evidence that comes up commonly or is it pretty rare?

Brian Sloan: It is very rare. Usually it has to be a videotape recording that is going to be the best evidence and it does come up every now and again. I’ve seen one video where the officers just slam someone down on the police car then claimed that the person was resisting arrest.

Fortunately, there’s videotape showing that there is no resisting arrest, and that for some reason the officer just slammed someone down on a car or on the ground. Unfortunately sometimes you see some celebratory ‘high-fives’ by the police officers after doing something like that.

A Video Recording Can Become a Valuable Evidence for the Defendants

Usually, it does require a piece of physical evidence, such as a video, because the testimony of one person versus testimony of another person usually isn’t going to be enough. You need actual physical evidence.

In Arizona, we recently had an instance with a sergeant who was caught on videotape taking money out of a drawer of someone who called in a burglary.  People need to be vigilant. People need to use those smartphones that they have with the built-in cameras. The person will not be charged with any sort of offense for hitting the record button while the officer is standing there at the window. Hide it if you need to. Hit the record button. Get videotape evidence.

I did actually have one client who said that he did just that and the officer reached in and deleted the video, but there are ways of recovering something like that, and that can be the best evidence because there’s no getting around what is on that videotape if the officer is saying something different.

Interviewer: Have you had much success if an officer changes testimony later on in the trial, or does that rarely occur?

How Does Your Defense Attorney Cross-Examine the Arresting Officer?

Brian Sloan: I’m very reluctant to say an officer is a liar. I have never called an officer a liar on the stand. I hate to think that an officer is acting with malice when they testify. There’s only been one instance where I truly believe the officer was lying on the stand.

During trial, the officer claimed not to remember anything. However, when an issue came up and evidence was about to be suppressed, all of a sudden the officer remembered what happened with my client a year and a half ago on a very unimportant event, except that it happened to be important as an issue in whether evidence was going to be suppressed.

I’m convinced that officer lied, and if I remember correctly the judge was convinced the officer lied. This is because the judge did not believe the officer to be credible when they testified that they don’t remember anything, but then happened to remember witnessing a blood draw being conducted a certain way. The problem is the whole idea of, “Trust us. We’re the police.” There’s really no one really policing the police. We’ve seen issues in California, the Rampart Division where there really isn’t video cameras.

By Brian Douglas Sloan

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Brian Douglas Sloan


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Why DUI Attorney Brian Douglas Sloan?


19+ Years SOLELY Focused on DUI Defense


4,200+ DUIs Successfully Defended

Top Accolades

  • Only DUI "Power Lawyer" in the Nation Featured in USA Today, 2022

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“I am one of only a handful of Phoenix DUI Lawyers that focuses solely on DUI Defense representation.”

I have spent my entire career SOLELY focused on Arizona DUI Defense Representation, having personally defended more than 4,400 Driving Under the Influence (DUI) clients in the past 19+ years.

If you’re looking for a Divorce Attorney, Tax Attorney, Civil Attorney, etc., I can comfortably say, "I’m not the one for you." I ONLY defend DUI cases in most of Maricopa County, Arizona.

Coming up with traditional, as well as outside-the-box motions and defenses for my clients, often with good results, is the hallmark of my practice.

Lawyers that say they are "aggressive" or "will fight for you" are a dime a dozen. They use these phrases because it is a proven advertising phrase. Being "aggressive" isn’t the same as being good, and is often used to put on a show to hide the fact that they aren’t doing anything meaningful for the client.

The same is true for the Lawyers claiming to do DUI Defense, and Criminal Cases, and Accident Cases, and Divorces, etc. A Jack-of-all-Trades is a master of none! By handling all sorts of cases, they take away from their ability to truly focus on DUIs, and keep up-to-date on the latest changes in DUI Defense Representation.

What I offer is intelligent, quality DUI Defense at an exceptional price. Unlike many other law firms, if you hire The Law Offices of Brian D. Sloan, you actually get me representing you, doing all the work, and working the case. You aren’t hiring one guy with all the experience, but getting the underling with very little knowledge or experience.

I work seven days a week on my client’s cases, and spend hours laying all my thoughts out for my clients in writing, so they can understand their options, and my recommendations. No other DUI Lawyer in the state does this. I try to do what I can to go above-and-beyond for my clients. I hate when the businesses I deal with nickel-and-dime me with hidden costs, and I take pride in not doing that to my clients.

I have not only taught other lawyers how to do DUI Defense Representation at statewide seminars, but I have produced DUI Legal Guides used by defense lawyers across Arizona.

I am one of Arizona's most award-winning DUI Defense Lawyers, as well as being recognized nationally. I was the only DUI Defense Lawyer in the United States named a "Power Lawyer" in a 2022 issue of USA Today

There are no other private Lawyers in Arizona that have personally defended more DUI cases than I have. And as a bonus, I offer a very reasonable flat rate for my legal services, with a payment plan, and without any hidden charges. This guarantees that I offer some of the most competitive rates among all Arizona DUI Attorneys, while being a well-documented and preeminent leader in the field of DUI Defense Representation.

Over the years, countless people have come to me after discovering that their first lawyer made a mistake, gave them false hope or false promises, or simply took their money and didn't do much to advance their case. And you would be surprised at how often this happens.

So, instead of wasting time and money on the wrong DUI Defense Attorney, do yourself a favor and get the proven and well-recognized best DUI Lawyer in Phoenix and the surrounding areas of Maricopa County.

You can reach me on my personal cell phone at 480-720-7839 for a Free ‘In Depth’ Consultation.

I personally defend DUI cases in urban Maricopa County City, Town, and Justice Courts, including:

Ahwatukee / Agua Fria / Arcadia Biltmore / Avondale / Buckeye / Chandler / Country Meadows / Desert Ridge / Dreamy Draw / Downtown / East Mesa / El Centro / Encanto / Gilbert / Glendale / Goodyear / Guadalupe / Highland / Kyrene / Litchfield Park / Maryvale / McDowell Mountain / Mesa / Moon Valley / North Mesa / Peoria / Phoenix / Queen Creek / San Marcos / San Tan / South Mountain / Scottsdale / Tempe / University Lakes / West McDowell / West Mesa / White Tank

For any other Courts in the State of Arizona, including Felony cases, I would recommend my associates on The Arizona DUI Team, whom I work closely with, but I am not the one personally representing the client.

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Brian Douglas Sloan

DUI Attorney

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