Preferential Treatment?

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POSTED: Thursday, October 21, 2010 - 5:01pm

UPDATED: Friday, October 22, 2010 - 5:45am

Some DWI suspects are treated differently than others to the point where it's unfair. That's what a local defense lawyer claims.

Tonight, he's reacting to two DWI cases dismissed against El Paso police officer Alberto Madrid. The lawyer says the case against his client should be dismissed too.

"I represent someone who's not a police officer and I believe there's insufficient evidence in that case as well," said criminal defense attorney Stuart Leeds. Leeds' client is accused of driving while intoxicated. It's the same charge El Paso police officer Alberto Madrid was hit with twice. But the way the DA's office handled the case, Leeds says, was preferential.

"My question is, well how come they're not dismissing the case on my client," he said.

Here's the reason we've been given; officer Madrid's case was dismissed because prosecutors couldn't prove Madrid had driven the car under the influence. Police found him seated behind the driver side steering wheel with the car running. Madrid also refused a sobriety test.

"My client was also parked in a parking lot at the time," Leeds said.

But in the case of Leeds' client there are differences. He claimed the gears in his car weren't working but his car had somehow backed into another vehicle. His client also agreed to giving a breath sample.

"What happened in another case frankly isn't relevant to the case at hand to that jury," said District Attorney Jaime Esparza. While he can't comment on Leeds' specific case, he says his office prosecutes everyone the same.

"Whether or not you are a police officer or you are, have, some other profession, it doesn't really factor in to whether or not we'll dismiss the case," Esparza said.

Comments News Comments

He gave a breath sample; there's the difference! That's the evidence needed to prosecute him. Mr. leeds is just throwing up the usual corruption charge smoke screen.

I support the DA in his efforts. I believe he is overwhelmed and feels the need to make deals that guarantee that enemies of society are punished. I believe that if you are a multiple offender you are beyond the deal. I disagree with Leads position. The law is as it is. His client is guilty no matter what is offered to another. NOW!!! The senior jurist has the ability to refuse a deal in his or her court. I put the onus on the Judge to see that society is protected or be voted out of office.

It is about time Mr. Esparza became accountable for his actions. I know first hand those who uphold the law are treated differently. In fact if this city would look at it's history they would see what attrocities the police are doing. No miranda, just arrest and book. Mr. Esparza living so close to the border has assimulated Mexico's habits. Jack McCoy he's not that's fictional or maybe he is, time to get an evaluation, but who will tell him. The Mayor......

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