By Dan Noll on November 17th, 2017 in
If you are curious about how to prepare for a DUI case in Illinois, this article may help shed some light on the situation. Preparing for a DUI case is a time-consuming and exhaustive process, at least the way that we do it, and that is as follows.
DUIs are the only criminal investigation that are supposed to be standardized. They are supposed to be standardized across the United States of America. I have been trained and passed certification of the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration in the administration of the field sobriety test. So the way that we prepare a case may be different or probably different from the way that most other DUI attorneys do that.
The first thing that we do is get a copy of the police reports, videos if there are any. We give an exhaustive review to see what the officer said he did, whether that corresponds with what they actually did, and if that corresponds with what they are supposed to do. That tends to be three different things. The advent of dash cams, body cams has provided us with a gigantic tool because we can see on video whether they administered the field sobriety test accurately.
Field sobriety tests or the Standardized Field Sobriety Test were conducted and studied for a number of years. The most important word in there is “standardized” because if they are not done pursuant to the actual standardization process, they are essentially an invalid test. So a officer who doesn’t do the test properly or does not interpret the test properly can find false positives of a person driving under the influence.
Other things we do is we have an exhaustive questionnaire that we give our clients. That questionnaire has hundreds of questions to it, and that gives us a tremendous amount of information that we can then compare to, again, what the officer said happened, whether they did what they were supposed to do, or if there’s something else that may have given the officer indicators of alcohol intoxication.
Finally, while we are preparing for trial, what we will do is subpoena the training records of the specific officer and of that officer’s instructor. We want to make that they are up-to-date on the current trends and DUI law, as well as any research into alcohol impairment, get their training manual, so we can use those documents against them in front of a jury. We can say, “You were taught this, A, B, and C, but you testified that you did it X, Y, Z.” When a jury hears that the officer is not doing what they’re supposed to do, generally speaking they’ll say, “Why should I trust this officer?”
So we are able to get a tremendous amount of information, a lot of exculpatory or beneficial evidence for our clients to present to the jury and hopefully get that person acquitted.
If you’ve been charged with a DUI, please feel free to contact our office. I’d be happy to sit down and discuss it with you at no cost to you and hopefully find a way that we can help you out.