What is Included in a DUI Police Report?
If you have been arrested and charged with a DUI in Jacksonville, one of the first steps you should take is to obtain a copy of the police report. The police report will be an invaluable tool for your criminal defense attorney and can help you better understand the charges and the evidence against you. After all, this is the evidence your attorney will need to disprove in order to win your case.
Most police reports will include a checklist for the field sobriety test, a printout of the Preliminary Alcohol Screening (PAS) test, a printout of the breathalyzer test if you took one, a lab report showing the blood or urine test you submitted, and a narrative of the night’s events and what the arresting officer observed. If there were two officers present at the time of your arrest, they may both write a narrative of the events that unfolded.
In the narrative, the arresting officers will likely describe in detail why they pulled you over. Were you speeding? Did you run a red light? Were you driving erratically? They will describe in detail how they asked you for your license, how they smelled alcohol on your breath, noted a glazed look in your eyes, and heard a slurring speech. The report will also mention pertinent details such as your appearance and your mannerisms, and how you failed the horizontal gaze nystagmus test or the heel-to-toe walking test.
How the Police Report Can Help Your Defense Case
You may be shocked at how the night’s events are described and you may even disagree with a number of the officer’s statements. While this may seem like a cause for concern, having a copy of the police report is a good thing for your defense case. It will show you and your attorney exactly what the officers are going to say in trial. After all, they won’t stray from the order of events that are stated in their report, so your DUI defense attorney will use this to build your case.
Your attorney will attempt to discredit the officer’s statements by:
- Providing doubt about the validity of the field sobriety tests
- Providing doubt about the accuracy of the BAC tests
- Providing eyewitnesses that can discredit the officer’s statements or assessments
- Providing your own testimony to could contradict the police report
While you may believe that the police have a airtight case against you, this may not be true. There can be numerous reasons why sober individuals fail their field sobriety tests or fail their BAC tests.
Recently, a 64-year-old woman was arrested and stopped by officers at the Kingston Ferry Terminal. She was slurring her speech and acting erratically. Officers immediately arrested her and charged her with DUI. After all, they claim they smelled alcohol on her breath and she failed all the “routine” DUI tests. However, medical reports showed that she was actually suffering from a stroke at the time of the arrest and because of her DUI arrest, she didn’t get the medical help she needed for days.
Have You Been Charged with a DUI in Jacksonville?
At Lockett Law, our Jacksonville DUI defense attorneys know that even first time DUI offenders need help beating these serious charges. Even if the police report is solid and your BAC results are positive, there may be ways we can have the charges reduced, so you can protect your criminal record.
If you’ve been arrested and charged with DUI in Jacksonville, Ponte Vedra Beach, Palm Valley, or anywhere in the state of Florida, our Jacksonville Criminal Defense attorneys will be on your side from the moment you call us. Call Lockett Law today at (904) 441-5107 or fill out our confidential contact form.