What evidence should be gathered in the aftermath of your DUI arrest?
The state will start investigating your DUI charge before your vehicle is ever formally pulled over. When an officer spots your vehicle and becomes suspicious that you are driving while intoxicated, the case against you begins. Your arresting officer will be carefully noting all evidence that points to intoxication. This could start with your vehicle swerving and continue with a failed breathalyzer test or poor performance on the field sobriety tests. Investigations will continue with more testing at the station house and potentially interrogations. By the time you call a defense attorney to assist you, the state will have already gathered considerable evidence to use against you. As such, it will become imperative for your defense attorney to immediately begin his or her own investigations to start building your DUI defense.
Gathering the Evidence Against You
Your DUI defense lawyer will work to quickly secure the police report detailing your arrest, any chemical tests, notes from the field sobriety test, and dash cam footage of your arrest. Your attorney will closely take notes of your account of the arrest and consider any medical conditions that could have influenced the results of the field sobriety, breathalyzer, or blood test. Your defense lawyer will also secure evidence regarding any statements you made and a copy of the Miranda statement you should have been read.
Examining the Stop
Armed with this evidence, your attorney can start to examine each piece of the evidence to ascertain where your arrest can be attacked. One of the first things examined will be the stop. To stop your vehicle, an officer must have probable cause or an articulable suspicion of criminal activity. If you were driving fine with a properly registered and insured vehicle, your attorney may wish to challenge the stop.
Improper Police Procedure in Chemical Testing
Georgia law requires officers adhere to stringent standards when performing breath or blood tests. The breathalyzer must be carefully calibrated and maintained in order for its results to be valid. Blood evidence must be gathered and handled in accordance with the law. Failure to follow state law could lead to exclusion of the chemical evidence against you and potentially dismissal of the charges.
These are just a few challenges that a defense attorney may make on your behalf once he or she has the requisite evidence. It is important that your attorney move fast following your arrest to maximize the chances of gathering favorable evidence and rapidly attacking the charges. Contact a Georgia defense lawyer as soon as possible after your arrest to protect your legal rights.