After a DUI arrest, your first step is to hire an attorney, but how do they challenge the state’s case against you? Well there can be a number of defenses that an attorney will work towards, however it is most common to find an error made by the arresting officer to help win a DUI case. There are numerous process that must be followed from the time the officer turns on his lights to the final moment of the arrest when you are handed over to corrections. With the help of a DUI attorney in Orlando, we broke down the 5 most common mistakes made by police during a DUI arrest.
The Officer Writes a Poor Report
Whether it’s because of poor note taking or a lack of intellectual capacity or whether they wait to long to do it or whether its the fact that they don’t accurately take the information down as it occurs, this is the number one mistake officers make. A good DUI attorney will explore these issues and and often times win DMV hearings and court cases as a result.
Improper Collection of Evidence at the Scene
Officers almost never interview passengers in car who could establish a drinking timeline. They may have a different story than the driver, thus creating inconsistencies which can be used to the driver’s advantage. They also fail to look in the car for evidence, open containers things of that nature that would be useful information.
Improper Collection of Chemical Tested Evidence
In order for a test to be validated there needs to be a 15 min observation period where the officer observes the defendant. Often times these chemical tests are being taken at a station and when the officers get to the station or jail they have to secure their weapons which they do before they take the defendant out. With the defendant in the car, the officer no longer sees him, the trunk is blocking him. they take about a minute to secure the weapons then they walk them right into the jail and the chemical test will take about 10 minutes to happen, so we have a break in that 15 min window which makes it a violation. if that can be shown in testimony, it shifts the burden back to the department of motor vehicles. When that happens they now have to call upon an expert to fix that problem and they never want to have to call experts.
The Officer Fails to Properly Collect Blood Evidence
After you get taken to the station. the officer is usually not really watching what the nurse is doing and rather filling out paperwork. Most attorneys know this and will cross examine the arresting officer and ask them what the nurse did after the test. What they miss by not paying attention is the inversion of the blood vile so that the preservative mixes properly with the blood. When no inversion takes place fermentation occurs and can be used to the defendants advantage.
Conduct Non-Standardized Field Sobriety Tests
Officers have basic training in this, but often times they improperly instruct and demonstrate and actually record how the person performs the test. There are 3 standardized field sobriety tests, but many officers do not have a good understanding of these. Instead they use the finger count test or finger to nose test, but these are subjective there is no way to really quantify performance. They also do a poor job of picking good location for the test and they normally don’t factor in fatigue or physical abnormality. This is one of the most fertile areas of cross examination, significantly helping a lawyer win their clients case at a hearing or in court.