Kimberly J. Benjamin, Founder & Managing Attorney
May 15. 2023.
Why Is Preserving Evidence Important?
Evidence is the foundation on which both the prosecution and defense build their arguments when it comes to a driving under the influence (DUI) case.
During a DUI investigation, individuals may get scared and confused when answering questions put to them by a police officer. However, they must remain calm while collecting, preserving, and recording all evidence that could assist their lawyers in establishing a solid defense in their criminal case.
To legally pull someone over for DUI in Missouri, a police officer must have reasonable suspicion that the person has violated a traffic law, like speeding or running a red light, or is driving recklessly.
However, video evidence from surveillance footage or a dashcam can challenge this suspicion, and it’s important to preserve such evidence to protect the individual’s rights.
Types of Evidence to Be Preserved When Fighting a DUI Charge
The types of evidence that an individual may need to preserve include:
- Police report
- Surveillance footage
- Preliminary breath test results
- Field Sobriety Test (FST) results
- Chemical test results
- Video recordings
- Witness statements
- Dash camera footage
- Body camera recording
Other types of exculpatory evidence might consist of recorded statements of the defendant and recordings of conversations with the police officer.
Preserving of Physical Evidence
In a Missouri DUI case, the prosecution may submit specific evidence to prove that the driver was intoxicated when driving, such as an empty alcoholic wine bottle, preliminary breath tests, receipts from a bar visited before the arrest, a blood test, and urine test results.
Preserving physical evidence can help disprove the prosecution’s evidence and allow for retesting of the blood and urine samples in an independent lab for accuracy.
An evidentiary breath test result is admissible as evidence in a court of law. Therefore preserving a copy of the results will prevent them from being tampered with.
In addition, preserved copies of phone records showing that the driver was on a call when driving could prove the driver’s reason for weaving.
Secure Copies of Medical Reports
Some medical illnesses present symptoms that are similar to intoxication, making breathalyzer and field sobriety tests less accurate.
For example, individuals diagnosed with low blood pressure may display signs of fatigue, poor vision, a loss of concentration, and dizziness. Some of these symptoms are present when a person is intoxicated.
A copy of medical evaluations, prescription drugs, and letters from a medical professional can help your attorney maintain evidence of your physical state during your arrest.
Consult With an Experienced DUI Defense Attorney
A skilled DUI attorney can help identify and preserve crucial evidence in DUI cases. In addition, they can assess the evidence against you and identify weaknesses in the prosecution’s case.
We are familiar with drug charges and suppressing evidence. We can negotiate with the prosecutor on your behalf, potentially reducing the charges or penalties you may receive after a DUI conviction.
If you were arrested for a DUI offense in Kansas City, lawyers from the Missouri DWI & Criminal Law Center could help you understand your legal options and advise you on a suitable traffic ticket defense strategy for defending against your DUI charges.
We know DUI law and can assist you in navigating the DUI legal process and protecting your rights. Additionally, we can secure adequate legal representation for you in court and argue for your innocence.
What makes us different than all other law firms is that our founder is on the faculty and we are each trained at the Gerry Spence Trial Lawyers College, the premier trial lawyer training program in the USA. Every Kansas City criminal defense attorney at our law firm trained with the best, so our clients can relax knowing their criminal defense lawyer is ready for anything.