The Importance of Preserving Evidence in a DUI Case in Kansas City, MO
Defending yourself against a DUI case in Kansas City, MO, requires the preservation of evidence. Get assistance from the Missouri DWI & Criminal Law Center today.
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:
Preliminary breath test results
Field Sobriety Test (FST) results
Chemical test results
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.
Preserve Copies of the Police Report
When charged with a DUI offense in Kansas City, individuals should preserve a copy of the police report as it contains essential information that could benefit their case.
Preserving a police report will enable them to verify the accuracy of the information. At the same time, their memory of the event is still fresh, and they can present it to their attorney, who can use it to prepare common criminal defense strategies on their behalf.
By carefully reviewing the report, an experienced DUI attorney from the Missouri DWI & Criminal Law Center can identify omissions or inconsistencies in the officer’s behavior, the chemical test results, and the field sobriety test results.
Preserve Dash Cam Footage
It is critical that Kansas City drivers with dash cams preserve all footage taken during FSTs and during their arrests. The footage can help your DUI lawyer analyze the following:
If the law enforcement officers followed the required legal procedures when administering Standardized Field Sobriety Tests
If they had reasonable suspicion to pull you over
If they correctly conducted the necessary search and seizure procedures
If they violated your civil rights under the Fourth Amendment of the United States Constitution
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.
Obtaining Video Evidence
Video recordings at the traffic stop are critical to building a solid defense strategy and should be obtained immediately.
They can be obtained from surveillance footage around the area of the arrest and may only be available upon timely request from a DUI attorney or law enforcement officer.
These recordings may show the officer’s behavior when collecting the driver’s license, how the driver was driving, and any potential witnesses around the area. It could help convince the jury of the driver’s behavior and demeanor during the arrest.
Dash cams or body cameras worn by law enforcement may also contain footage that could help your defense.
Additionally, a witness or passenger present with you during the arrest may have recorded the events at the traffic stop on their phone or through social media. This video information can be essential to a knowledgeable attorney from the Missouri DWI & Criminal Law Center.
Collecting Witness Statements
Witness statements are crucial in any criminal case because their testimony can corroborate the driver’s statement and challenge the prosecution’s evidence.
Identifying potential witnesses and collecting their statements when the event is still recent is crucial. It will allow the witnesses to provide identical reports of the series of events that happened during the DUI investigation.
A DUI attorney can help you identify and interview all potential witnesses, including getting them to write out what they saw and heard happen before, during, and after the incident and any subsequent police investigation. Further, the defense may use witness statements to reduce the penalties a driver may face.
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.
For help with your DUI, contact the Missouri DWI & Criminal Law Center today at 816-281-5306 or click here to book an appointment.
If you have been drinking, use our "Blood Alcohol Content (BAC) Calculator"to estimate your Blood Alcohol Content (BAC) before you drive, but please keep in mind that the information it provides is just an estimate and may not be inaccurate.
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