Monder Law Group - News
Extrapolated Retrograde Evid.
USING NEW SCIENCE TO GET YOU CONVICTED
Courtesy of: Harrisburg DUI Lawyer
In San Diego, as well as other parts of California, the tests administered prior to arresting someone for a DUI give the air of trustworthiness and accuracy, but the reality is that even those have potentially detrimental fallacies. San Diego police officers administer field sobriety tests on a regular basis, but these tests have not been satisfactorily proven to show whether or not someone is under the control of alcohol or drugs. Breath analyzers, another popular tool used to charge someone with a DUI, can be startlingly wrong if not appropriately calibrated and cleaned. Blood samples are not always correctly labeled and stored, due to human error or backlogged data. These are not complicated sciences, and yet there are still grave mistakes made regularly with all of them. Grave mistakes that slap San Diego residents with DUI charges.
After hearing this, what would you say if I told you San Diego police officers want to include a new method in which they can “figure out” how much you’ve had to drink or even what you’ve had to drink hours earlier? Sounds ridiculous and messed up, right? This is called retrograde extrapolation. This is the process of estimating alcohol content at an earlier time from measured alcohol content at a later time, in order to affect a DUI charge. In most traffic cases, this means providing an estimate of blood alcohol content (BAC) at the time of the offense based on the measured BAC at the time a sample of blood, breath or urine was obtained. Sometimes this sample can be taken several hours after the initial stop.
Why Would the State Want to Use This?
Because sometimes it takes police officers a long time to get a blood or urine sample, or even a Breathalyzer sample. Sometimes it can take a couple of hours after the initial detention that they get this sample. And then, when they finally do—the alcohol content is well below the legal limit (note: it might have always been). But this looks bad on the local police department, and so they want a way to show (by merely predicting) what the alcohol content was at the time of initial detention (read: they want to see a higher amount so they can charge you with a DUI).
San Diego criminal defense attorneys to create reasonable doubt as to the defendant’s guilt can use retrograde extrapolation evidence in DUI cases. And the prosecution will attempt to offer retrograde extrapolation evidence as proof of the defendant’s guilt beyond a reasonable doubt.
How to Deal With New Science:
In 1976 the California Supreme Court reached a unanimous decision regarding general principles of admissibility of expert testimony based on new scientific techniques. In that decision, the court required a three-step approach for admissibility of evidence based on new scientific techniques; (1) expertly established reliability of the technique represented, (2) testimony on the subject by a properly qualified expert, and, (3) adherence to the proper scientific procedures in the specific case. Such an evaluation of the admissibility of the opinion has been described as the “gate keeping” function of the trial court.
Basically, the evidence will come in, but your local criminal defense attorney will have time to pick apart the prosecution’s witness and show to the judge and jury just how “solid” this new science is.
Just know that based on the California Evidence Code and the recent decision of the United States Supreme Court, the standard is applicable to testimony based on training and experience as well as more traditional “scientific” knowledge. And also know that a skilled criminal defense attonrney will pull all the tiny hairs out of this standard and fight for your cause.
Driving Under the Influence (DUI) charges carry with them the possibility of both jail time and the loss of driving privileges. As with any criminal case, a DUI defendant makes a major mistake if he attempts to make their way through the system without an aggressive criminal defense lawyer to stand up for their rights. Contact Monder Law today for a free San Diego DUI attorney initial consultation regarding your case. Vik Monder represents clients in throughout San Diego.