One of the most critical pieces of evidence in a DWI case is the police report. Unfortunately, it’s also one of the major pieces of evidence that prosecutors will try to use against you. Here’s what you need to know about your DWI police report and how to use it to prepare for and strengthen your case.
The Police Report Reveals the Evidence the Prosecution Has Against You
Your DWI police report is a fairly good rundown of all the evidence that the prosecution has against you. This includes the arresting officer’s testimony, as well as the testimony of other officers on the scene. In many cases, the police report is the backbone of the prosecution’s case against you, along with chemical test results if they were over the legal limit.
Police Often Report General “Evidence” and Will Stick to It
You may be shocked when you read the police report written about yourself. It may have language in it that depicts you as clearly intoxicated, even if none of it was true. Police officers very often report that those arrested for a DWI had:
- Red, glassy eyes
- The smell of alcohol on their breath
- Slurred speech
- Disheveled clothing
- Poor balance when exiting the vehicle
- Difficulty getting your license and registration
- Failed field sobriety tests
The officer’s testimony can be difficult to refute, because often, it’s just their observations. Police officers, when taking the stand, will rarely go against the police report. They may ask for the report beforehand to “refresh their memory,” to ensure that their testimony doesn’t stray. This means that to testify against you, the officer doesn’t actually have to remember anything about you or the arrest.
You Can Use the Police Report to Your Advantage
By using the police report to prepare for your case, you and your DWI lawyer can gather evidence to refute the claims. For example, you took a selfie and posted it to social media before you got in your car, minutes before your arrest. Perhaps that selfie shows you with clear eyes and clean clothing. You may have witnesses who can refute some or all of the officer’s observations about the driver. Additionally, your attorney could have chemical tests dismissed if there is reason to doubt the tests’ validity.
Contact New York DWI lawyer Mark Cossuto today for a consultation to discuss your police report and begin putting together your defense. Call (718) 852-8047 or (800) 609-4545.