When you go to trial for a DUI, the prosecution will present the evidence against you just like they would for any other type of crime. There are three main types of evidence used in these cases -officer testimony, field test results and the results of your chemical test. The officer testimony is one of the most important parts of a drinking and driving trial and having a DUI attorney who can ask the right questions is crucial in fighting these charges.
Police are Believed More Than Civilians
While witness testimony is important in many cases, driving under the influence charges rely on the testimony of a police officer, who is considered an expert witness. Most officers have been on the stand dozens, if not hundreds, of times before and they are not shaken or nervous about speaking in court. They also tend to have experience spotting, arresting and providing testimony against drunk drivers. For these reasons, what they say is generally more believed and accepted by the jury and judge than an average person who is asked to be a witness after they saw a crime occur.
Your Attorney Can Challenge the Testimony
It is the job of your lawyer to remind the court that while the police officer may be an expert in this field, he or she is still human, and thus, subject to biases, forgetfulness and errors. One of the most important aspects of the officer’s testimony is his or her reason for stopping your vehicle. If you were not breaking the law and were driving reasonably, the officer might not have had a legitimate reason to stop you. If he or she pulled you over for no reason, your rights were violated and your attorney may be able to have the charges dropped. Dashboard driving cameras installed in many police cars can help provide additional evidence to backup or contradict the officer’s testimony.
Police Can’t Always Identify Signs of Intoxication
While juries and judges are inclined to believe a police officer’s observations regarding whether or not someone is intoxicated over the observations of a random person, a lawyer might be able to help convince the court that these assumptions aren’t always valid. In fact, a study conducted by scientists from Rutgers University’s Alcohol Behavior Research Laboratory determined that police, social drinkers and bartenders were all equally good at evaluating whether someone was inebriated; with all three groups correctly identifying the subject’s condition only 25% of the time.
Having a lawyer with expertise in these types of charges is critical when you attempt to fight a DUI. If you have been arrested for driving under the influence in Vista, please call Peter M. Liss at (760) 643-4050.
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