When working with a lawyer in a DUI case, they will request the evidence that the prosecution plans on using in the courtroom. It is during this motion for discovery in a DUI case that they may be able to build your entire defense.
Motion for Discovery in a DUI Case
Once you have obtained your Greenville, South Carolina DUI defense attorney to represent you in a DUI case, they are going to file a motion for discovery with the court. This motion is a request to the prosecution to turn over any and all evidence that they plan on presenting during court.
The prosecution also has the right to make a discovery request on all the evidence and records your lawyer plans on using in court. This is to avoid there being any surprises in the courtroom and to avoid an ambush by either party.
Discovery can be any kind of evidence that is going to be presented. This includes the police reports, the medical reports, the insurance reports, and any depositions that were taken.
Depositions are sworn statements that are taken outside of a courtroom and can offer an insight to both parties as to what answers are going to be given in the courtroom. This is a helpful tool for attorneys who believe a witness is lying. If they answered one way in the deposition but another way in the courtroom, this brings the credibility of the witness into question.
The Role of the Prosecuting Attorney
The role of a prosecuting attorney in a DUI case is to prove that you are guilty of driving under the influence.
It is their responsibility to prove, beyond a shadow of doubt, that you were driving under the influence and that you were rightfully arrested. Their discovery should provide all the evidence against you pointing to this.
The Role of the Defense Attorney
The defense attorney that you hire to represent you should be an expert in the area of DUI arrests. Hiring an attorney that is not skilled in this area can make for a weaker case. Experienced DUI attorneys know where to look for inconsistencies in the prosecution’s case against you.
When your defense attorney files the motion to obtain discovery from the prosecution, they are looking for inconsistencies in their case. They are going to look to see if the police report is complete and see if there is any inconsistency with it.
The defense attorney is going to check to make sure that all procedures were followed from the time of the officer pulling you over up until the arrest was made. This includes the proof that the breathalyzer was up to code and had been calibrated recently and that you were Mirandized correctly.
Common Defense Strategy in a DUI Case
Starting with the police report, the officer who pulled you over must be able to prove that there was reasonable suspicion to do so. They are not allowed to pull you over just because you are on the road, they must see you commit a traffic violation in order to pull you over. They are not allowed to simply have a hunch that you are under the influence to pull you over.
The field sobriety test requires certain protocols and procedures to be followed. If the officer fails to execute the field sobriety test correctly, your defense attorney can file for this evidence to be suppressed from your case.
If a blood test is administered to prove that there was alcohol in your system, it is up to the officer to make sure that the sample is done within a certain period of time, that the sample has been taken by a certified phlebotomist, and that the integrity of the sample has not been compromised in any way. If the documentation of the procedures taken is not thorough enough, the defense can use this to have the blood evidence dismissed.
All questioning and interrogation once arrested must be recorded. This can be done via video or voice recording. The officer is required to read you your Miranda Rights when you are arrested, and you are not allowed to be coerced into saying anything in an interrogation under false pretenses. If there is any denial of legal counsel or inappropriate interrogation tactics, your defense could fight to have the entire case dismissed.
Obtain Legal Counsel ASAP
As soon as you are arrested, you need to request counsel. Do not say anything that could be considered self-incriminating because the prosecution may try to use this against you if you haven’t asked for an attorney. Call a DUI law firm in Greenville, SC to help build the defense that you deserve.