The first kind of evidence that a prosecutor will present in your DUI case is your driving. In a DUI offense, one of the charges is incapable of safe driving. To prove that, they must show that you were driving in a manner that’s unsafe. A lot of ways that they will do that is through the police officer’s testimony and the reasons why they pulled you over to begin with, such as driving too slow, speeding, taking a turn too wide, crossing the fog lines or the yellow lines of the road, or swerving. This is evidence that they will use in an attempt to prove that you are incapable of safe driving. In the state of Pennsylvania, you have your state troopers whose vehicles are equipped with what is known as an MVR (Motor Vehicle Recorder) and they record your driving and put that video into evidence to show how you were driving.
The local town cops don’t necessarily have a video so they will rely on the police officer’s testimony as to your driving on the night of the DUI. The other evidence that they will look for is they will look at the field sobriety testing that was performed. If you have a state trooper or a town cop that has video footage, typically you’ll be able to see this on the video, otherwise, they’ll be using the police officer’s testimony only on how you perform the field sobriety test and whether or not you failed or passed those tests. If drugs are involved, the police officer should bring in a drug recognition expert which will perform their own test to try to determine what drugs may be in your system. It is not required but it is something that is useful and that police rely on to get additional evidence against you.
Their main source of evidence is on the breath or blood test which they got from you the night of the DUI. The blood sample you provided, whether at the station or hospital, is usually sent to a private lab or to the Pennsylvania State Police Crime Lab where they will test the blood and give results as to what exactly was in your system that night. The breath tests are performed via a breath machine, which can be either at a hospital or the police station, and the results will be provided right then and there.
The evidence for these is the individual who performed the test will have to come and testify to the machine that was used and how it renders the results. Usually, the prosecutors don’t really understand the science involved here, which is why they bring in the expert on these machines to determine how the results were calculated. If the testing is done through blood and is taken at the Pennsylvania State Police Crime Lab or at a private lab, their typical method of testing is through gas chromatography and they will typically bring in the individual who tested the results or oversaw the testing results to testify to the results of the tests.
What Questions Should I Ask When Deciding Which Lawyer To Hire?
Here is a list of some questions that you will want to ask yourself when choosing the right attorney to hire:
- Does the lawyer regularly take cases to trial across the state?
- Has the lawyer ever operated the testing equipment used by the state and private labs?
- Does the lawyer have his practitioner’s certification in Standardized Field Sobriety Testing?
- Does the lawyer have his certification as a Standardized Field Sobriety Testing instructor?
- Does the lawyer belong to any non-defense related scientific organizations?
- Has the lawyer ever instructed other lawyers about field sobriety and blood testing in PA or Nationally?
- Does the lawyer constantly attend seminars on DUI defense and the relevant scientific fields pertaining to DUI defense?
- Do other lawyers regularly refer cases to the lawyer as well as call him for advice?
- Does the lawyer belong to the state and national DUI defense Organizations?
- Has the lawyer ever been recognized nationally for his scientific knowledge in science and the law?
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