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Evidence in DWI Cases

Criminal Defense Lawyers Advising Drivers in Westchester County and Beyond

Many people charged with a driving while intoxicated (DWI) crime in New York feel overwhelmed by the evidence against them. However, the evidence in DWI cases may be subject to attack by the defense as unreliable, irrelevant, or even inadmissible in some situations. At Tilem & Associates, our Westchester County DWI attorneys can analyze the evidence in your drunk driving case and look for any grounds to challenge or cast doubt on the allegations. We can also assist by gathering and presenting evidence that may support dismissal of a DWI case. Our defense attorneys are trained to recognize holes in the prosecution’s case and fight to defend people who have been arrested for drunk driving.

Evidence in DWI Cases in New York

In New York, the prosecution has the burden of proving a DWI case beyond a reasonable doubt. This means that the prosecuting attorney must present enough evidence to establish that the defendant committed the offense beyond a reasonable doubt. The prosecution is obligated by law to turn over all of the evidence that it may use in its case against the defendant. The defendant, in turn, has the right to review the prosecution’s evidence before trial. The defendant may also present his/her own evidence at trial. Understanding the types of evidence commonly used in DWI cases may help in deciding the best course of action to take in your specific situation.

Field Sobriety Tests

A police officer may ask a driver to take a field sobriety test if the officer suspects that the driver is under the influence of alcohol or drugs. Field sobriety tests are often used by police officers to give them probable cause for a DWI arrest. Field sobriety tests may also be used against the defendant in court. Typically, the arresting officer will testify regarding the defendant’s performance on these tests. In some cases, the field sobriety tests may be recorded on video and, if properly admitted into evidence, the video may be played in court. Very often the defense can attack the accuracy of the test depending on the police officer’s instructions and how the test was administered.

Chemical Test Results

In most DWI cases, the prosecution relies on the results of a chemical test to prove that your blood alcohol concentration was above the legal limit. A breath sample is typically provided for testing, but a blood or urine test may also be used. The chemical test results may be admitted into evidence if the prosecution lays the proper foundation. To do so, the prosecution will typically establish the chain of custody and authenticate the chemical test results through witness testimony. Evidence of a chemical test is not necessarily the end of the case for the defendant. Rather, an experienced DWI attorney can attack some built in inaccuracies in the chemical testing that is performed in New York. In addition, the defense will often hire its own expert who can explain the inaccuracies in the testing to the jury or judge hearing the evidence.

Witness Testimony

Testimony from a sworn witness may be evidence in a DWI case. In almost all DWI cases, the arresting officer will be called to testify about the events surrounding the arrest. In addition, the prosecution may call other witnesses, such as passengers in the defendant’s vehicle or other people, to testify as to their observations of the defendant’s actions before, after, or while driving. Expert witnesses may also be called by the prosecution and the defense to explain the results of a chemical test or toxicology report and offer their opinion of whether the defendant was impaired.

Video Evidence

In some cases, there may be video of the defendant around or during the time of a DWI arrest. Video evidence may originate from sources such as surveillance cameras outside a bar or restaurant parking lot, police dashboard or body cams, cell phones, and other recording devices. A video recording must be authenticated as a genuine and accurate depiction of the events before the court will allow the video into evidence. For example, if the prosecution offers video from a police dashboard camera that shows the defendant undergoing field sobriety tests, the arresting officer will usually be called to verify its authenticity.

Discuss Evidence in DWI Cases With a Westchester County Attorney

At Tilem & Associates, our Westchester County defense lawyers can protect your rights and guide you through the evidence in a DWI case. We can represent people arrested for drunk driving or other criminal charges in Bronx, Queens, Kings, Nassau, Rockland, Suffolk, Richmond, and Putnam Counties. To request an appointment with one of our experienced defense attorneys, call 877-377-8666 or contact us online today.

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