Defendant NR was found not guilty of DUI following a trial Friday. NR was stopped by Philadelphia Police and charged with DUI. Police found an open container in his vehicle and a can of beer in the center console. When Defendant was arrested he was on probation for firearms charges. Copoulos was retained by Defendant’s family and immediately filed a motion to lift detainer. At the detainer hearing the government agreed to lift NR’s detainer pending the outcome at trial. If NR was convicted at trial he would have faced a violation of probation hearing and likely incarceration. With the stakes set Copoulos and NR started building their trial strategy.
NR and Copoulos decided to focus their strategy on video footage of the stop. While some of the video footage was unfavorable, other segments showed NR clearly walking in a straight line and speaking articulately. Copoulos and NR played the video footage at trial, which raised questions as to whether Defendant was actually intoxicated. The body cam footage also showed the reporting officer placing a beer can in the center console of NR’s vehicle. Further the officer reported the can of beer as “open” when the body cam footage clearly showed the beer was unopened. NR’s case was strengthened when the assigned officer did not answer the subpoena to appear in court.
At trial it became obvious the officer mishandled the evidence. This was brought to the judges attention. Body cam footage further showed NR walking a straight line and articulately answering officer’s questions. The judge found the defendant not guilty. As a result defendant will not incur a direct violation. NR left a positive review of Mark Copoulos’s law practice via YouTube.