If you have been arrested for driving under the influence, an Orange County
DUI defense attorney will be able to advise you and answer your questions
on how to prepare your defense. Before your
DUI trial actually occurs, your attorney will need to collect the evidence
for your case in a process called discovery. During discovery, your lawyer
formally requests relevant pieces of evidence from the prosecutor's
office, the police station, and wherever else there might be relevant
evidence. Your lawyer will probably ask several things of you, depending
on the specifics of your case.
The specifics may differ from case to case, but usually, DUI cases begin
with securing two important pieces of evidence: photographs of the scene
and answering machine recordings.
Documenting the Scene of Your Arrest
First, you'll want a record of the site of your arrest as it was near
the time of your arrest. This may involve personally making a visit, sending
a private investigator, or requesting records from the police. Your attorney
needs a general sense of the scene because it allows him to gauge the
dynamic of the case. It can reveal important information about the case
that the police and witness testimony cannot reveal, such as how well
the police officer could see your car from where he was or the whether
or not there were any environmental factors that could have affected your
field sobriety test.
Once there, you should take photographs of the area where field sobriety
tests were administered by the police officer. Police officers will say
in their reports that the area where they performed the tests was smooth,
level, and well lit. They will usually say this without really inspecting
the area. If you can provide evidence that this is not the case, you may
be well on your way to fighting the charges.
Speaking with Potential Witnesses
Next, you will have to secure another important piece of evidence: recordings
of any phone calls you made from jail. If you left messages on anyone's
answering machine, you should try to get a copy of these recordings before
the person deletes them. If the police officer claimed in his report that
your speech was slurred, these phone recordings may be able to prove otherwise.
Your attorney might also ask that you provide a list of the names and contact
information of everyone you had contact with throughout the evening, starting
a couple hours before you began drinking. They will want to contact these
people as soon as possible to get their recollections of what happened.
You may be hesitant to let some people know that you have been arrested
for drunk driving, but it is preferable to let them know in case they
are able to help you.
Examining the Type of Shoes You Were Wearing
Another thing your lawyer may ask is that you keep the footwear you were
wearing at the time of your arrest. If you were wearing high heels or
some other unstable footwear, that makes balance tests more difficult
and may have affected your performance in the field sobriety tests. Keep
the shoes in the same condition they were in at the time of the arrest,
and try to avoid wearing them altogether until the trial. If the condition
of your shoes changes significantly between the time of your arrest and
the criminal trial, the prosecution may move to have them excluded as evidence.
Requesting a Copy of the Police Report
Your attorney will also need to request a copy of the police report. The
report is important because it contains all the witness statements the
police took, as well as the contact information for those witnesses. Since
these statements probably figure into the prosecution's case, your
lawyer will need to look at them in order to prepare your defense. Having
the contact information of the witnesses on hand allows your attorney
to interview them. Having the police report will also give them the opportunity
to look for any inconsistencies if the arresting officer testifies at
If you have been charged with a DUI in Orange County, you must find an
experienced and capable attorney to represent you. Call The Law Office
of Barney B. Gibbs today for a