Criminal Defense in Orange County

Types of Evidence That Could Help Your DUI Case

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 your trial.

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 free consultation.