How to Determine the Credibility of a Law Enforcement Officer
Many drunk driving cases are won or lost on a determination by the jury as to whether to believe the defendant and his or her witnesses or the police officers. The natural inclination of most jurors is to believe the police officers because they are perceived as unbiased public officers with no stake in the outcome of the case. To overcome this inclination it is usually necessary for defense counsel to create doubt in the jurors’ minds as to the police officer’s credibility. An effective method of creating such doubt is to show that the officer was mistaken as to certain facts of the case. In drunk or impaired driving cases the facts about which police officers most often testify are those incidental to the stop and arrest of the defendant. Therefore, to effectively establish police officer error, defense counsel must be more familiar than the police officer with the facts incidental to the stop and arrest, including the details of the scene of the arrest as they existed at the time in question. Accordingly, it is important for defense counsel to personally visit the scene of the arrest as soon as possible after being retained in the case, for in no other way can he or she become completely familiar with the important details at the scene. An attorney who is not completely familiar with the scene of the arrest is not likely to detect an error or exaggeration made by a police officer on the witness stand several weeks or months later. This is just one example of why investigation of a DUI-DWI case should begin as soon as possible.
A knowledgeable drunk-driving defense lawyer will know how to determine the credibility of a law enforcement officer and find out that officer’s track record in DUI arrests. Additionally, they will know when and how to investigate the facts and circumstances of each individual DUI arrest. TeamDUI.com lawyers are available anytime at 1-855-350-TEAM to discuss your unique situation, our legal services, and advise you of your legal options.
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