After being charged with a DUI, immediately request a copy of the DUI arrest report. This document is considered the most important evidence in a DUI case. Steps involved in requesting a copy of this report vary by state so assistance from a local DUI lawyer can streamline the process. With the report in hand, determine whether plea bargaining is an option.
What a DUI Arrest Report Includes
The DUI arrest report is prepared by the police officer who made the arrest. It includes details about why the officer made the vehicle stop, how the driver was operating the vehicle, whether the driver exhibited observable symptoms of intoxication, and information and results of field sobriety tests that were administered. Also included are answers provided by the charged individual in response to questions asked by the police officer.
A DUI arrest report also includes the serial number of the machine used for the field sobriety test. This enables the convicted individual or an attorney to verify the maintenance record and accuracy of the machine. If the equipment was not maintained according to schedule or was not calibrated correctly, test results may not be accurate, making case dismissal possible.
Though the arrest report is supposed to be comprehensive and objective, it often is not. Important details may be omitted or wording may reflect a biased view. Details may even be exaggerated to make the individual appear guiltier to a prosecutor and judge. Experienced DUI lawyers use these aspects to show that the individual charged was not treated fairly. This could result in a greatly reduced sentence that offenders could not achieve on their own.
Getting a Copy of the DUI Arrest Report
The report prepared during a DUI arrest is usually available as of the initial court date, which is typically listed on the ticket issued during the arrest. If the state offers a DMV hearing and the individual elects this, the report may be requested from the DMV. It should arrive at least a week before the DMV hearing date.
Obtaining the DUI arrest report prior to the court date can be difficult but a DUI attorney can help. If the situation included an automobile accident and state police were involved, a copy of the report may be available from the local station. To reduce the runaround involved in this process, hire a DUI lawyer and let this expert deal with the police or DMV to get the report.