Questioning the Evidence Provided by the Arresting Officer
The arresting officer is typically the key witness for the prosecution
in a DWI case. This is usually a difficult part of court proceedings for
the defense because the arresting officer will likely have much to say
that supports the prosecuting attorney's allegations that the defendant
was driving while intoxicated.
The officer may make statements under oath, regarding:
- The driver's statements regarding what he/she had to drink
- The officer's observations of the driver's behavior and any signs
of intoxication, such as slurred speech, bloodshot eyes or the smell of
alcohol on the driver's breath
- The presence of open containers of alcohol in the vehicle at the time of
The driver's performance on
field sobriety tests
The results of
breath or blood tests, if the arresting officer was involved
Defense Strategy: Cross Examination
In the face of damning evidence, it may seem difficult to avoid a conviction.
An attorney with extensive experience and the resources to fully investigate
the matter may be able to effectively challenge the officer's testimony
during cross-examination. A defense lawyer will have the opportunity to
cross-examine any witness brought in to testify on the prosecution's
behalf after they have had their chance to complete a direct examination.
During that time, they will likely bring to light any evidence that can
be used to solidify the defendant's guilt.
During a cross-examination, however, the defense attorney will have the
opportunity to question the credibility of the witness, and/or create
a reasonable doubt in the minds of the jury about the validity of any
field sobriety tests, blood and breath tests, and/or reasonable cause
for the initial traffic stop. If any of these elements of the DWI arrest
can be proven to be invalid, the defendant's chances of avoiding a
conviction are increased.
Also, when a lawyer is highly experienced in handling a cross-examination,
he or she will know how to ask the right questions to eventually lead
the arresting officer to agree with the defense's side of the story—or
at the very least attempt to invoke doubt in the validity of the arresting
officer's earlier statements. This is why it is imperative to enlist
the help of a highly qualified defense attorney.
To take the first step in your case,
contact us today!