One of the most important variables in a Los Angeles DUI case is that of the evidence that can be presented against you. When your case goes to Court, you will present your case, and the prosecutors will present theirs. Each side of the case will hinge upon evidence and the more stronger the evidence, the stronger your case will be.
One of the biggest pieces of evidence is that of the officer’s report. Often called discovery, the officer’ report outlines a crucial part of your case, the arrest. When you are pulled over, there are several procedures and laws officers have to follow. If they do not follow these procedures, the case could get dismissed, so officers must watch their conduct, and properly write it down in their report. The report will then be scrutinized and analyzed by the Los Angeles DUI Lawyer you retain to represent you.
For example, an officer must have reasonable cause to stop you in the first place. If they do not have reasonable cause, it is not a valid stop. There are several ways officers can meet this procedural requirement. One way is if you violate a traffic law. This could be speeding, running a red light, failing to stop at a stop sign, or even not having your headlights on at night. Another way is if you are pulled over at the side of the road with car trouble or perhaps after an accident. This is called a welfare check. Officers have the right to stop and check to see if you are alright and if you need any help.
Officers must outline in their report reasons why they stopped you in the first place. If they did not have a valid reason, any evidence gathered thereafter is not admissible in court, and your case could be dismissed.
Officers must also have reasonable cause to ask you to submit to an alcohol screening test. They cannot arbitrarily ask you to submit to one. This is a very subjective area. The reasonable cause could be based on the observations of the officer alone. Many times this requirement is met by the officer simply stating in his report that he smelled alcohol, or that the driver appeared to have symptoms that indicated he was under the influence.
Fortunately, many police vehicles now have recording devices in the vehicle and there is audio and/or video recording in evidence.
All evidence that the prosecutor has is available to you to review prior to going to court. It is up to your Los Angeles DUI Lawyer to obtain this discovery prior to court and carefully review it. Having the benefit of an experienced and knowledgeable professional reviewing your discovery, ensures that you are able to prepare the strongest case possible, and prepare for the weaknesses in your case. All of these things will ensure that you give your case the strongest possible fighting chance.