A former DUI Phoenix police officer has now resigned and pleaded guilty to forgery. According to the police report, Jerry Schuiteboer, 38, collected more than $10,000 for fraud over a stolen truck, Phoenix's KPHO reports.
Schuiteboer, a former DUI police officer who has worked for the Phoenix police department for more than 17 years, currently has six active cases in the Phoenix court system for which he was either the arresting officer or the phlebotomist (the one who drew the blood).
These cases will likely be affected by Schuiteboer's own case. How so, though?
Schuiteboer's credibility as a witness may be called into question now that he's sentenced. During trial, a witness' credibility is crucial and can often be called into question through a process called impeachment.
A common way to attack a witness' credibility is by using contradictory statements -- the other party can use prior testimony to show that a witness is unreliable. Of course, a criminal conviction connected to a crime that's related to truth-telling is also incredibly damaging to a witness' credibility, and may often be used for impeachment.
Officer testimony is especially vital in a DUI case in laying down the foundation for evidence. Often, it's the only way that the suspect's appearance of intoxication, blood alcohol concentration lab results, or actions on the night of the alleged DUI can be confirmed.
According to the Maricopa County Attorney's Office, however, as reported by KPHO, the testimony of an officer in a DUI case may only be one among many pieces of evidence, and Schuiteboer's criminal conviction and sentence may not affect any of his cases.
Forgery in the Desert
According to the police report, according to KPHO, Schuiteboer drove his truck into the desert and then trashed it. He left the truck to appear as though dealers had stolen the vehicle to transport drugs. Later on, Schuiteboer reported the truck as stolen and collected more than $10,000 for faking a truck theft.
Schuiteboer was sentenced to 90 days in jail with two years of probation and more than $14,000 in restitution fines.
- Phoenix DUI officer sentenced in forgery case (Arizona Daily Star)
- Evidence: The Concept of "Admissibility" (FindLaw)
- Forgery (FindLaw)
- Challenging DUI Blood Test Results: It Can Be Done (FindLaw's Phoenix DUI Law Blog)