From the defense perspective, the single most important aspect of a DWI trial is effective cross-examination of the arresting officer. Cross-examination of the arresting officer provides the defense attorney an opportunity to rebut the officer’s observations and opinions and to demonstrate flaws in his or her arrest of the defendant. Common observations and opinions that need to be addressed during cross-examination typically include odor of alcohol on the defendant’s breath, watery, bloodshot or glassy eyes, trouble maintaining balance when walking, failed sobriety tests, and failed breath tests results. In addition to effective cross-examination of the arresting officer, it is also critical to present favorable evidence on behalf of the defendant.
A thorough investigation of the defendant’s DWI case will reveal what evidence is available to use at trial. Witnesses who saw the defendant at or near the time of arrest must be interviewed and called to testify if they are favorable to the defendant. It is vital to introduce pictures and videotape of the scene, traffic conditions, lighting, conditions of the roadway, and field sobriety tests if they are favorable to the defendant. An investigation of the scene and videotape of the arrest can often be used to demonstrate an officer’s failure to properly administer and score the field sobriety tests. Furthermore, pictures and videotapes can reveal difficult conditions in which the defendant was subjected to while being investigated for DWI.
Frequently, whether conditions can play a role in a DWI arrest. For instance, if it was raining or snowing during the arrest, it can affect the defendant’s performance on the field sobriety tests. It is vital that no stone go unturned in the investigation phase of a DWI case.
If you or a loved one has been charged with a Missouri or Illinois DWI, contact the St. Louis DWI defense attorneys of Henderson & Waterkotte, P.C. today for a free consultation. Our criminal defense attorneys will aggressively investigate your case in order to get the result you deserve.