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How Can Evidence Be Used in a California DUI Defense Case?

Posted on in DUI

San Jose DUI defense lawyerDriving under the influence (DUI) of drugs or alcohol is illegal in all 50 states. In California, a driver can face charges for a DUI when he or she operates a motor vehicle while under the influence of drugs or alcohol, or if he or she has a blood alcohol content (BAC) level of 0.08 or higher. In addition, motorists who are minors can be charged with impaired driving with 0.01 or higher BAC levels.

Evidence collection in a DUI stop can begin even before a driver is pulled over. A police officer must have a valid reason for the stop, such as a traffic violation, which can include speeding or an illegal maneuver. The evidence collected and used in a DUI case can vary but usually involves observational, testimonial, and forensic evidence.

Observational, Testimonial, and Forensic Evidence

Not all evidence will hold up in a court of law. Mistakes can and do happen during the process, from the time of the initial stop and arrest all the way through to the court proceedings. Therefore, it is best to understand how evidence gathered at your DUI might not be admissible in court, such as for the following reasons: 

  • Officer testimony: The arresting officer can be a witness in a DMV hearing, but his or her account of the stop could simply be wrong. It is also possible for an officer to change his or her story in court compared to the written police report.
  • Eyewitness testimony: Witnesses to any kind of traffic stop or accident can have subjective opinions or limited perspectives. Many people cannot accurately recall details after the fact.
  • Police reports: Police reports are often written quickly and may be illegible or contain inaccuracies.
  • Video footage: Video footage could show that you did not fall down or slur your words as the officer indicated in the police report.
  • Statements: If you were not properly advised of your rights, the statements you made during the arrest might not be admissible in court.
  • Physical evidence: Open bottles of alcohol or drug paraphernalia in your vehicle does not necessarily mean you were impaired while driving. 
  • Forensic evidence: There could be many reasons for why you may have been speeding or did not stop in time. Forensic evidence on its own typically does not carry a DUI case.
  • Chemical test: Any chemical test has room for error. The actual testing device or laboratory procedure can be defective. This type of evidence can also be disputed based on rising BAC, mouth alcohol, diet, and other factors.

Contact a San Jose, CA Drunk Driving Defense Lawyer

A DUI stop can lead to significant penalties, including jail time and fines. If you or someone you know is facing these serious charges, you need legal assistance to make sure your rights are not violated. The Law Offices of Erik Steven Johnson have experienced attorneys on staff who have handled many drunk driving cases. We will carefully examine the evidence from your DUI stop and build a strong defense to potentially lower or dismiss your charges. Call a knowledgeable Palo Alto DUI evidence defense attorney at 408-246-3004 today to schedule a free consultation. 



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