Barnette Law Office, LLC

June 11, 2014

Nashville DUI Lawyer

DUI cases are complex inasmuch as there is a blend of both legal and scientific issues involved.  Many make mistakes and these mistakes can harm their clients.  of Barnette Law Offices has included some of the mistakes below.

Some DUI Lawyers look at the police report, breath test sample or blood test results, and assume that the cannot be won. Breath tests, blood samples and field sobriety tests all have flaws that can be presented by an experienced .  Never assume defeat in any driving under the influence case – these cases can be won.

For starters, breath test results can be challenged for many reasons.  These machines flawed for they do not test deep lung air and are affected by any mouth alcohol.  Moreover, they must calibrated.  Some people have health conditions such as acid reflux, diabetes or are simply belching at the time of the test.  These reasons alone can cause inaccurate readings.

An experienced will always examine the traffic stop.  This is a fundamental part of both .  The police must have some legal justification for the traffic stop.  Some simply miss this point and fail to raise issues that could potentially lead to the ultimate dismissal of their client’s case by virtue of suppression.  Sometimes the mere act of filing a suppression motion makes the prosecution re-evaluate their position.  Bad traffic stops can lead to DUI cases either being dismissed or reduced to a lesser charge. 

While field sobriety tests are non-scientific and subjective, the location of the tests should be fair to the accused.  Heavy traffic, loose impediments, extreme weather, poor lighting or police lights, and unleveled surfaces can call into the question the reliability of these coordination tests.  It is always important to put these tests into content for the jury so that they can see why someone’s performance may have been unsatisfactory.  These tests are designed to fail and any obstacles can make them even more difficult to perform.  When done right, it is not difficult to show a jury these tests are fundamentally unfair. 

When the arresting officer was trained in field sobriety testing, he originally learned how to administer the tests through an instructor and his training manual.  This manual lays out guidelines that the police must follow when they administer these field sobriety tests.  Many know little about these tests or the rules that the police officer is supposed to follow per the NHSTA guidelines. 

This manual should be studied at length by your lawyer.  In fact, they should own a copy.  This way they will know exactly what questions to ask when the DUI officer takes the stand.  If the tests were not properly given, then their results can be called into question.  The tests are only as good as the officer’s instructions and training.  A successful challenge to these tests will weaken the prosecution’s case. 

It typically is not a good decision to have the DUI accused testify at trial.  They are not experienced witnesses and their testimony usually adds little to the defense.  The primary objective of the defense attorney is show the jury that the prosecution’s case is not strong enough to convict beyond a reasonable doubt.  When the defendant testifies, the trial focus is then placed on the credibility of the defendant verses the arresting officer’s investigation.  The jury is then forced to choose sides.  The defendant will seldom win this battle.

The state wants it to be a battle of credibility.  The prosecutor will jump up and down accusing the defendant of lying.  This shifts the focus away from the actual flaws and defenses of the actual DUI case.  If the cop lies, the jury will see it on their own.  It doesn’t have to be pointed out by the defendant or his attorney.  Reasonable doubt can be created without showing that the arresting officer is a liar.  It is a better practice to explain to the jury that the field sobriety tests are subjective in nature and the officer made a mistake of judgment.  Most jurors do not want to believe that the cop lied.  However, they will accept a mistake has been made.


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