DUI field tests are incredibly important in fighting a DUI charge you may be facing. After representing thousands of people charged with DUI over the past 19 years, I have learned that it is important to concentrate on the performance of the field sobriety tests – or concentrate on the reason for the poor performance of these tests. What does that mean? I always ask my clients how they think they performed on the field tests when I meet with them in my office. Many think just because the officer failed them on the tests that they in fact did fail the field tests. I push harder and ask them how they think they did on the test – not what the officer indicated. The vast majority of them think that they performed pretty well on the tests. Many of the people who think they did poorly on these tests gave a reason such as a bad knee or back that impacted their performance.
When I meet a client who indicates an injury affected their performance on the field tests, I always look to the video of the arrest to see if the police officer was told of the injury. The police are trained in the Field Sobriety Testing Course to ask those who will perform the field tests as to whether or not they have any leg or back injuries. If an injury is indicated, the field sobriety tests can be invalidated if the officer forces the clients to actually preform the test after learning of the injury. Judges often look at the police officer and ask why the field tests were given such as the walk and turn and the one leg stand tests after the person indicated injury. It makes no sense and it often makes the officer look bad. We have had many successful cases where this exact type of scenario took place and we were able to obtain findings of not guilty for our clients.
If no injury is indicated, then we look to attack the technicality of the field test. I have seen hundreds of times where an officer failed my clients on his police reports for the walk and turn test due to the fact that the client did not pivot “as instructed.” The client pivoted and did not fall – but because he or she did not take three small choppy steps during the pivot, the officer failed them. While this may be a point the officer uses to fail you, when the judge watches the video, common sense applies. Many times they see the videos of my clients performing these field sobriety tests where the officer indicates a failure. The judge can and often does see it differently. Not guilty very often.
If you have been arrested for a DUI, know that just because you have been accused does not necessarily mean that you will be convicted of the DUI. If you need help and want to speak with e DUI Defense lawyer right away, contact the DUI defense team at John W Callahan, LTD.
Posted by John W Callahan
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