Most of the time, a DUI attorney will only take a look at their client's police report in order to determine whether they'll be further charged, jailed, or penalized.
This is because a police report can ruin one's defense case – even in situations when the one accused of DUI is innocent.
As such, it is important for you to know what exactly a police report shows and how that information can affect you, your license, and your freedom!
The Most Important Things on a Police Report
Although a lot of information shows up on a police report, there are four fields that can impact the result of your DUI case or charge. These are:
- Probable Stop Cause
- Officer Observations
- Field Sobriety Testing
- BAC Testing
Let's see what they are and how they can affect you.
Probably Stop Cause
This points out the reason why an officer had to pull you over. For example, you may have been breaking basic traffic laws or driving erratically. Moreover, the officer might have pulled you over because of a 911 call or report.
At the same time, if this field is not filled, then the charges must be dismissed because the officer who pulled you over must explain or verify the stop cause later on.
Obviously, this refers to the officer's notes regarding your condition/status when they pulled you over. Anything out of the ordinary will most likely be written down – such as appearance, behavior, and so on.
This is because such things help prompt a field sobriety test and, once again, the officer must have proof that such a test was required.
Field Sobriety Testing
The police report will also tell if the driver submitted to this test, as well as what made them fail it. It is important that the police report contains this field as the field sobriety testing is known to be subjective.
As such, the ones responsible for your case must be able to test the details noted by the officer and make sure that their assessment was correct!
Last but not least, the DUI driver may also be subject to BAC testing. However, things are much more complicated than one may think.
For example, the police report states not only if the driver allowed this test but also what type of test the officer used, how they administered it, and what were its results. A faulty BAC test can – and usually does – put innocent drivers behind bars.
The Bottom Line
As you can see, a police report is not only meant to provide the police with vital information but also let the court know how things were done when you were pulled over.
In the case of a court trial, the police report will be the main piece of evidence that lawyers and authorities will rely on. This makes it so that both the driver and the officer act the way they should!
For example, a wrong move on the side of the driver can prompt the field sobriety test while a wrong step on the officer's side can result in a faulty, inconclusive police report that will let a drunk-driver go free!
References and Sources