Take a recent “Police Report” on AL.com and look at what proof of a crime there is.
This online article lists the names, ages, and cities where 15 people live who were recently arrested and charged with DUI. It doesn't even show any facts of what happened, why they were stopped, why the officer pulled the driver over or any proof they are guilty.
Yet, there they are, plastered for anyone on the World Wide Web to see, as if they're guilty of DUI in Tuscaloosa, or anywhere else. This is only one side of the story. Our experienced DUI Defense Attorneys in Tuscaloosa and Birmingham know that fighting these charges is the one way to really clear your name after you've been arrested.
Sadly, the newspapers have shrunk in size year after year because of lower profits and the rise of the blogger. And with less staff to do a quality job, they rely on these cheap reports written by interns, most likely, to get people to read the “news” they put on these websites.
This includes these “police reports,” which take the police department or sheriff's office's word for it and publishes the names of those who were arrested. Sadly, even if the charges are dropped two days later, the names can stay up there for months or years to come. Of course there are no subsequent articles detailing the prosecutor's decision to drop the charges.
But the only true way for a person to clear their name is by fighting a DUI charge. That requires an aggressive DUI defense, which first off includes attacking the police officer's observations and actions. Law enforcement officers must be very careful when they conduct a DUI investigation because there are certain steps they must take and if they don't it could result in charges being dropped.
First of all, why they decided to stop the vehicle is the first thing that should be looked at by the defense. They must have a valid reason for stopping the vehicle in the first place, whether it's for swerving in and out of lanes, running a stop sign or red light or sudden stopping and starting.
Sometimes, officers don't have a reason for the stop and everything that happens after that point must be thrown out, however damaging the evidence. A driver has a Fourth Amendment right not to be subjected to illegal search and seizure, which includes a person being investigated for DUI.
Follow that up with the police officer's observations when conducting field sobriety tests in Tuscaloosa. This includes walking and turning, following an object from side-to-side while having a flashlight shone in your face and standing on one leg. While officers may say that a person blatantly failed these tests, certain medications, health effects and wet roads or windy weather conditions can all have an effect on these tests.
When an officer pulls someone over, though, they are set on proving the person is guilty of DUI, so it can almost be an uphill battle not to get arrested for DUI once you've been pulled over. Even by explaining that an outside factor other than drug and alcohol abuse is causing a poor performance on a field sobriety test, an officer may choose not to buy it and make the arrest anyway.
Eye witness accounts, including a vehicle passenger or those outside a vehicle, as well as the cop's video surveillance device from their cruiser, can all go to helping a defendant who is charged with DUI. These cases take a lot of work and require an attorney who has the experience to help restore your good name.
More Blog Entries:
Navy Commander From Birmingham Fired After DUI Arrest in New York: September 2, 2011