Aug 02, 2020 Vital information sought by your Fairfax DUI lawyer
Vital information for your lawyer includes details from the defendant, says Fairfax DUI lawyer
Vital information needs to be obtained by a criminal defense lawyer to sufficiently defend his or her client. As a Fairfax DUI lawyer / Virginia criminal lawyer, I know that my clients are a very important source of that information, in addition to my obtaining a discovery order, investigating the case myself, and obtaining breath and blood testing data from the Virginia Department of Forensic Science.
What information is ideal to avoid creating in a Virginia DUI case?
Ideally, a Virginia DUI defendant (charged under Va. Code § 18.2-266) and criminal defendant and suspect will avoid creating the following information in the first place: Maintaining your Fifth Amendment right to remain silent is vital (other than providing your name and booking information), so ideally the police report and any incident video will not include suspect-provided event details nor admissions. Field sobriety testing is optional for Virginia DWI suspects, and even stone sober people can perform poorly on them. I prefer to minimize the absence of field sobriety testing as addressed here, rather than to explain away the missteps that many DUI defendants allegedly make on such testing. Virginia DUI suspects have the right to decline the roadside portable preliminary breath test (PBT), versus the statutorily-mandatory post-arrest breath testing required at the jail or police station. Taking the PBT test is very risky even if you have only consumed a small amount of alcohol.
What vital information do I seek from my clients as a Fairfax DUI lawyer?
As a Fairfax DUI lawyer / Virginia criminal lawyer, the vital information I seek from my clients goes beyond what any inicdent video will show. As to incident video, video is not created in every Virginia DUI and criminal case; the availability of an incident video depends on such factors as the police force involved, the outfitting of the particular Virginia police cruiser, technical and human issues operating the video equipment, and the type of criminal case. Furthermore, incident video in a DUI and criminal case does not always have good sound, might start later than some of the critical data about such matters as challenging the reasons for the traffic stop, and will not show all critical vantage points.
The information I seek as a Virginia DUI lawyer about your physical appearance and demeanor, weather, and roadside conditions
Police routinely report about their following observations of Virginia DUI suspects, the details of which often are very subjective and frequently not quantifies by the police officer: Odor of alcohol; extent to which the Virginia DUI suspects’ eyes are glassy, watery or bloodshot; the extent of any slurred speech; any staggering in walking, or holding onto one’s car or other objects, purportedly to maintain balance; and factors considered in field sobriety tests that do not always show on incident videos, including the extent to which the suspect misses heel to toe or steps off the line in the walk and turn test, or loses balance during the on leg stand test. It is vital for me to obtain both my criminal defense clients’ and police version of events, and to obtain any video evidence, which sometimes counters the police version of events.
It is important for you to get your Virginia DWI lawyer detailed relevant information about your case
For defending your Virginia DUI case, it is vital for me to know the reason for the traffic stop, the legitimacy or not of the stop, what the weather was like, what type of footwear you were wearing (and whether the police offered an opportunity to remove your shoes before doing field sobriety testing), what the ground surface was like for any field sobriety testing (including whether it was on a partial incline or decline, and how much debris was on the ground), and how much traffic was whizzing nearby to cause possible distraction, inattention to instructions, and concern by the DWI suspect. Furthermore, I want to know whether you had any physical impairments or health issues that might have caused adverse movements by you on the street, including with field sobriety testing, and whether the police officer asked you about the existence of any such issues. I also want to know the extent to which the police officer was or was not contributing to confusion or your waiving any rights, for instance by dominating you physically, speaking harshly, speaking too low, speaking too quickly, or patting his handgun.
What post-arrest information does your Virginia DUI lawyer want to know?
As a Fairfax DUI lawyer, it also is vital for me to know about the post-arrest events, including what takes place with the police during post-arrest transportation and with post-arrest discussion efforts by the police, including advising of Miranda warnings or not; and with any post-arrest breath testing or blood draw. This includes my wanting to know the extent to which the breath technician did or did not observe the Virginia Department of Forensic Science mandate for the breath technician to check the Virginia DUI suspect’s mouth for foreign substances at least twenty minutes before having the DWI suspect blow into the breathalyzer / Intox EC/IR II machine for the first time. Furthermore, because elevated mouth temperature can increase your resulting breathalyzer result, I want you to provide me a few of your own mouth temperature readings using the directions I provide here. If blood is drawn, I want to know the extent to which you did or did not consent to such testing. Furthermore, at the appropriate point I will want to know how much and what type of alcohol, beer or wine you consumed, in what quantity, where, and during what period of time.
My obtaining, organizing, synthesizing and analyzing all of this vital information is critical to my providing you the best possible defense as a Fairfax DUI lawyer.
Who is the best Virginia DUI lawyer for you? That is a matter of personal choice. Call Fairfax DUI lawyer Jonathan L. Katz at 703-383-1100 for a free in-person consultation for your pending court case and to obtain your tailor-made defense action plan.