You should not pay the price for the mistake of the police.
Everyone makes mistakes, the police are no different. However, when the police make even a small mistake, the consequences for you can be dire.
From the time a police officer observes you to the very last contact they have with you, there are laws, regulations, and procedures for the way the police handle the case. Police errors in a DUI investigation can lead to a false field test interpretation or possibly even false blood test results.
What type of mistakes might the police make in DUI cases?
There are several ways in which the arresting police officer themselves can invalidate the case. Some examples are:
Law Enforcement Errors During Field Sobriety Tests
“Please step out of the car.” Those words are enough to strike fear into the heart of any driver, causing anxiety and sometimes erratic behavior, even when no alcohol or other substances are involved. Law enforcement should take this into consideration when instructing field sobriety tests.
In order for a standardized field sobriety test (SFST) to be admissible in court, it needs to be administered in a very specific manner. If law enforcement fails to substantially comply with the SFST guidelines, the results may be suppressed.
Failure to Document
All too often, an officer will claim that a defendant engaged in certain behavior, or, that the defendant failed standard field sobriety tests. However, when the officer is asked to support the claims with documentation, they are often unable to do so.
Nothing of evidentiary value should be destroyed until the case is closed. In addition, a typed report some hours or days later is not the same as a contemporaneous field notation which more accurately documents observations.
No Probable Cause for DUI Arrest
A police officer must have reasonable suspicion in order to pull you over. Even if they do have reasonable suspicion, they can’t arrest you without probable cause to believe your driving has been impaired by alcohol or a drug of abuse. If probable cause did not exist, but you were arrested anyway, a DUI attorney may be able to have your case dismissed.
Improper Administration of Your Breath, Blood or Urine Test
There are extensive rules governing the administration of a breath, blood and urine tests. It’s important that you discuss the events preceding and following your breath test with your DUI attorney as soon as possible, while the details are still fresh in your mind. If you can’t speak with them right away, write the events down. Improper administration of a breath test is an important aspect of a good DUI defense.
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