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Los Angeles DUI and Law Enforcement Errors

  • May 26, 2017

    Law enforcement officers undergo a great deal of training before they head out to the streets to enforce the law. One of the things they spend a great deal of time studying is how to conduct an investigation for drunk driving. They might learn some procedure in a police academy, and they might receive special training while they’re employed with a police department.

    Training to investigate drunk driving includes a number of different things. Officers learn how to tell if a driver might be under the influence of alcohol. They learn how to spot violations of driving laws and regulations. They learn how to handle an investigation professionally.

    Search and seizure laws are another important topic for police officers. They learn when law enforcement can lawfully stop a vehicle. They learn when they have probable cause to detain a person for an investigation.

    Even if a police officer starts a drunk driving investigation with the best of intentions, they can still make mistakes. A law enforcement officer might forget important training. They might choose to ignore their training. Either way, it’s not uncommon for law enforcement officers to make errors. When they do, the result can be that their investigation into your drunk driving offense is invalid.

    If law enforcement stops your vehicle without probable cause, that can be a mistake that’s fatal to the case. They have to be able to articulate a reasonable suspicion that you violated a traffic rule or broke a law. If your Los Angeles DUI attorney suspects that the police stopped your vehicle without reasonable cause, they can file a motion to ask the court to throw out evidence against you in the case. This can be an effective way to defend yourself against the charges against you. Your DUI attorney uses California Penal Code Section 1538.5 PC to bring law enforcement’s mistake to the court’s attention.

    Even if the stop is legal, law enforcement can make mistakes during the investigation. Most drunk driving stops include tests called field sobriety tests. These tests are supposed to indicate whether you’re under the influence of alcohol.

    The investigating officer must conduct field sobriety tests in a particular way. They must give specific instructions. In the case of the horizontal gaze nystagmus test, they must hold the pen or their finger at the appropriate distance. If the investigating officer doesn’t give these tests in the right way, the results aren’t reliable.

    In addition, many officers think they know better than their training. Even in this day and age, some law enforcement officers choose to give field sobriety tests that aren’t standardized. If they do this, your DUI attorney should be able to question the officer about their actions to hold them accountable for the fact that they chose not to follow standard police procedure.

    The police also have to follow procedures when they administer a chemical test. To properly administer a breath test, they have to observe you for fifteen minutes before the test. They also have to operate the testing machine in a certain way. If the officer fails to conduct the test properly, the result can be that the test isn’t reliable. They should also read your chemical test rights.

    You should work with your DUI attorney to evaluate your case for law enforcement errors. Their mistake might mean that your case is dismissed. It’s important to hold law enforcement accountable for doing competent and honest work. Anything less can mean that you’re found not guilty of drunk driving. Contact your attorney as soon as possible so that they can begin working on your case.

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