DUI Incident Report
Incident reports created at or soon after the time of arrest can have a big impact on the outcome. If you are concerned about a DUI incident report, you should discuss your situation with James E. Novak, a Phoenix DUI defense attorney well-versed in how prosecutors think about drunk driving charges. As a former prosecutor, Mr. Novak brings insights from his time in that earlier stage in his career to bear on his strategic defense of the accused.DUI Incident Report
You can be charged with a DUI in Phoenix if your blood alcohol concentration (BAC) is .08 or higher while you’re operating your vehicle. More stringent BAC limits exist if you are a commercial vehicle driver or under the age of 21. When you’re pulled over by an officer who suspects you’ve been drinking and driving or have committed a different crime, he will ask you to take a chemical test. If you refuse to take the chemical test, your driver’s license can be suspended for a year. Moreover, if you have two or three past offenses, you can face suspension for two years.
In connection with your arrest, the police will complete a DUI incident report. The incident report will include information about your arrest such as when the police stop occurred, where it occurred, and the identity of others who are present at the time the report is being made. Details included in the report that could affect your defense include:
- Whether probable cause for the DUI stop was established.
- Whether chain of custody was established.
- Names of witnesses to the DUI, along with possible witnesses.
- Interactions between arresting officers and drivers.
- Whether a proper chain of custody was created.
- The police officer’s observations of a drunk driver.
- Information about the field sobriety tests including the officer’s observations of you.
Our defense lawyer will examine the incident report as part of his evaluation of the charges and to develop a defense strategy. One of our major efforts will be to identify any errors in the incident report. In some cases, factual errors in the report can be used to cast doubt on an officer’s credibility. For instance, if a camera at an intersection with a traffic light shows you were pulled over at 4 p.m. but an officer claimed in a report he pulled you over close to midnight for suspected drunk driving, we may be able to also cast doubt on other observations and claims by the officer, such as claims he suspected a DUI because you were swerving in the dark before he pulled you over or that your eyes were bloodshot under the streetlights.
Other errors that can become evidence when looking at an incident report include:
- Mistakes when conducting a field sobriety test.
- Specification that passengers in vehicles were victims rather than witnesses. This can limit our access to witnesses we need to build your defense and also violate your right to a fair trial.
- Improper administration or misinterpretation of the results of your field sobriety tests.
- Reasons provided for a traffic stop were inconsistent or were insufficient to meet the standard of “reasonable suspicion.”
- An officer’s observations of you driving and the stop itself are inaccurate.
Using the incident report, we will also try to figure out whether evidence was gathered illegally in the course of the stop or arrest. In some cases, incident reports shed light on the procedures used to get evidence and what evidence served as the basis for probable cause to arrest you. Officers must abide by your constitutional rights. If they fail to do so, our principal may be able to get the improperly obtained evidence suppressed or excluded in a pretrial motion.
Incident reports may also include information about in improperly administered chemical test that we can use to dispute certain evidence. Among other things, chemical tests should be administered in a location that is appropriate and after the device is calibrated and within a certain time window after you consume alcohol.Hire an Experienced Maricopa County DUI Lawyer
An incident report can have tremendous consequences for a DUI charge. Seasoned Phoenix DUI defense attorney James E. Novak may be able to represent you. He represents those accused of drunk driving in Phoenix, as well as Gilbert, Chandler, Mesa, and Maricopa County. Contact him at (480) 413-1499 or complete our online form.