Justin Bieber DUI, Defense Gets Break Amid Arresting Officer Credibility Issues

Justin Bieber’s alleged DUI and related charges case has received an injection of possibly helpful information to his defense team after a new report alleges a history of misconduct hangs over one of the arresting police officers, in addition to discrepancies in their police report.

The 19-year-old and friend, R&B singer Khalil Sharieff, also 19, were stopped and arrested on Pine Tree Drive — a residential street — just after 4 am on January 23 by Miami Beach police officers Steven Cosner and Fulgencio Medina.

Bieber drove a rented yellow Lamborghini, Sharieff, a red Ferrari. The officers wrote in their report that they stopped the pair during a “drag race” going at “approximate speed of about 55-60 MPH” in a 30 MPH zone.

The officers stated Bieber failed a field sobriety test and swore repeatedly before his arrest. It’s also alleged the singer admitted taking prescription pills, smoking marijuana and drinking one beer previously during a patrol car ride to Miami Beach police station.

Completed breathalyzer tests at the station estimated blood alcohol levels of 0.011 and 0.014 for Bieber, zero for Sharieff. Both levels are well below the 0.8 national over 21’s legal limit and Florida’s 0.2 under 21’s.

Later toxicology results revealed the presence of the active ingredient of marijuana and anti-anxiety drug Xanax in Bieber’s system and marijuana in Sharieff’s. Police documents also stated Bieber failed a number of coordination tests at the station.

However, questions have been raised about the legal basis for Bieber and Sharieff’s police stop and statements about smelling alcohol on Bieber.

In readings from the period before, during, and after their arrests, TMZ previously reported GPS records show Bieber reached speeds of 108 mph then 136 mph at 01.23 am en route to local nightclub SET. But by the time the singer’s convoy was noticed and stopped at 4:07 am by officers, Khalil and Justin were traveling at 27 MPH.

Officer Medina’s report stated he “immediately smelled an odor of alcohol [emanating] from the driver’s [Bieber’s] breath and bloodshot eyes,” at the roadside, while at the station Officer Dionne was reported saying there was “odor of alc. bev. on his breath.”

Before the preliminary toxicology report was released on January 30, defense attorney Mark Eiglarsh (who is not connected to Bieber’s case) told the Miami Herald,

“If the GPS shows he wasn’t going any faster than 30 miles per hour, it will significantly hurt the state’s case.”

He added, “What we do as defense lawyers, if we can find any inconsistency at all, even on a collateral matter, it could undermine the entire credibility of the lead officer.”

The statements about the speed police stated Bieber and Sharieff were allegedly traveling will likely be used by the singer’s defense if the case goes to trial as it was the primary basis for the stop. Similarly, police statements about smelling alcohol on Bieber’s breath will be called into serious question as his blood alcohol level was negligible — albeit he is underage.

In addition to the above, TMZ obtained numerous Miami Beach police department internal affairs documents. The site claims they show arresting officer Cosner has been accused of misconduct 15 times between 2001 to 2012. Disturbingly, it’s alleged Cosner didn’t show up for five court hearings.

As a result, it’s claimed he was reprimanded with three verbal warnings and two write-ups.

The site added Cosner, “may not have shown up for court because he may not have wanted to be placed under oath,” adding, “if you lie under oath you can be prosecuted for perjury.”

It’s also alleged that Cosner committed three offenses in 2006. These allegedly amounted to violating rules of “courtesy and respect,” “Off duty/secondary employment,” and “Unlawful compensation.” Cosner was allegedly suspended for these violations.

It continues. In 2007, it’s claimed Cosner was accused of offensive conduct/language and apparently that allegation is still “open” which may mean it is an active investigation.

It’s also alleged Cosner was written up for sleeping on duty in 2011.

Cosner was reportedly exonerated by Internal Affairs in seven remaining cases.

If correct, these revelations will be used by Bieber’s defense regarding statements made by Cosner about the GPS speed and alleged observations about the teen star’s conduct before, during, and after his arrest.

According to TMZ, Bieber’s Miami legal team – led by lawyer Roy Black – believe Cosner is “lying” about aspects of the case.

The arresting officers stated Bieber was “cocky” and “belligerent” before his arrest. Yet there appears to be no evidence of that by the time he was taken to Miami Beach police station, judging by CCTV jail footage released on Thursday, February 6.

In light of the credibility issues alleged against Officer Cosner, who may have influenced Officer Medina, the new report is likely to be a welcome lifeline to Bieber’s defense team.

The singer pleaded “Not guilty” in writing to charges of driving under the influence, resisting arrest without violence, and driving with an expired license on January 29.

A March 3 trial date has been postponed following a public records hearing today and will be reset at a future hearing..