Arizona Defendant Asks Appellate Court to Reconsider Lower Court’s Refusal to Provide DNA Evidence

Recently, an Arizona criminal defendant challenged a trial court’s decision to deny his request for DNA evidence. The defendant was originally charged with burglary, and after he pled not guilty, his case went to trial. A jury found the defendant guilty of two burglaries, and the trial court sentenced him to 12 years in prison as a result. On appeal, the defendant argued that the DNA evidence he asked for could have led to a completely different outcome in the case, and it was unreasonable that the court denied his request. The higher court ultimately disagreed, siding with the State and affirming the defendant’s guilty convictions.

Burglary Offenses in Question

The State originally charged the defendant with committing five burglaries and one theft of five commercial establishments. Two of the establishments took place inside a restaurant and a coffee shop, and investigators found the defendant’s fingerprints at both locations. There was also video surveillance linking the defendant to the two establishments. The prosecution submitted this evidence at trial, and the jury found the defendant guilty of burglary in both the restaurant and coffee shop. Regarding the additional burglaries, where the investigative team found no fingerprints, the jury was unable to reach a verdict.

Defendant’s Request for DNA Evidence

After trial, the defendant filed serval motions, including a request for DNA testing of the items that the perpetrator touched while burglarizing the restaurant and the coffee shop. According to the defendant, if this testing produced another individual’s DNA instead of his own, he likely would not have been convicted of either burglary, since the evidence showed the same person likely committed both offenses. When the trial court denied this motion, the defendant promptly appealed.

The appellate court reviewed the defendant’s argument and ultimately decided it was without merit. Even if the DNA evidence had shown someone else’s DNA, wrote the court, fingerprint and video evidence connected the defendant to the crime. Therefore, it was reasonable for the jury to find the defendant guilty and for the trial court to deny the defendant’s request. The defendant’s guilty convictions and sentence would thus stay in place.

Do You Need a Phoenix Burglary Attorney for Your Case?

Fighting burglary charges is no small matter, and if you are trying to get your charges dismissed, you need an experienced Phoenix burglary attorney by your side. The criminal legal landscape in Arizona is tough to navigate and constantly changing, and by having an expert to walk you through the process, you can guarantee yourself the best outcome possible.

At the Law Office of James E. Novak, we take pride in our holistic and aggressive approach for each case we litigate. Our clients are our top priority, and we don’t stop fighting for our clients’ rights and freedoms. If you are in need of a qualified Phoenix burglary attorney, give us a call today for a free and confidential consultation at (480) 413-1499. You can also fill out our online form to tell us about your individual case and have an attorney reach back out to you as soon as possible.

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