Monder Law Group - News
Attacking a Field Sobriety Test in San Diego
The most important thing to do in starting the preparation in any DUI case is to preserve the scene where the DUI stop took place. This means take photographs of the area of the scene at the time the DUI investigation was being conducted. There is a lot of good information an attorney can obtain by looking at pictures at the scene of the crime. Officers are required to follow certain standards under Title 17 to conduct a field sobriety test without the probability of error. The police reports will state that the area where the test was conducted was smooth and level. However, this is not always the case. Most roads and sidewalks are sloped and are not smooth by any means.
What should I be doing before my court date for my DUI?
The next step is to gather any and all witnesses that may be involved with the DUI stop. This includes any and all passengers and officers on scene. The information that you should gather from the witnesses is names, date of births, badge numbers, addresses and telephone numbers. This will help during the investigation stages if subpoenas need to be sent out as well as to determine if there is anyone with a criminal record that we would not want to call as a witness. The longer you wait to get the information from the witness it is likely that their memory will become deteriorated and not remember much about the incident. We like to preserve witness statements in case they forget what they observed months earlier.
How do I get the officer report of my DUI arrest?
The most important report is the DS-367 and it can be obtained early on during the DMV APS hearing prior to the criminal proceeding commences. This is the officers sworn statement of what he or she observed on the date you were arrested. This is the best place to try and poke holes in the officer’s statement because he will be testifying exactly as what was written on his sword statement. The way to obtain these reports early is by sending out a discovery request from the DMV as soon as you are released from jail and have the chance to call the Driver Safety number on your pink sheet.
The above-mentioned information can all be obtained before you meet with an experienced San Diego DUI attorney. This information will be helpful at the onset of your case in building your defense. When preparing for trial it is important to have an expert testify on your behalf regarding an officers training in the field and the fact that officers field examination did not follow the manual that is required under Title 17. The expert will testify whether there is a proper Adams foundation laid for any of the evidence the prosecution tries to put in front of the jury.
How do I use the information I received for a DUI trial?
Jurors will have their own preconceived notions when it comes to DUI cases. If you are elderly, overweight or seemingly uncoordinated you may want to have other people on your jury that are similarly situated. It is important to ask the jurors about performance of the field sobriety test if where a requirement in getting a driver’s license. Most people will be honest by the end of the line of questioning and realize the field sobriety test is a shame. You probably did not know until now that the field sobriety test was optional and you did not have to perform them. However, the officer never told you that!
If you have any questions about a DUI in San Diego, feel free to contact San Diego DUI attorney Vik Monder at 619.405.0063 or visit San Diego Criminal Lawyer