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Mistakes of the Police

It is common for police officers to make mistakes while they are working. No one is perfect and we cannot expect police officers to be perfect. However, a certain level of consistency and professionalism is expected. When mistakes are made, these critical errors can be used to your advantage.  An experienced DUI attorney will carefully analyze your traffic stop, field sobriety testing, and chemical test. When errors are found, the result could be that your case is dismissed or plead to a lesser charge such as reckless driving.

These defenses are extremely technical and specific to your specific set of circumstances in your DUI case.  While they are still fresh on your mind, let's take a close look at the most frequent mistakes made by police officers while they are conducting their DUI investigation.

Here is a list of frequent police mistakes:

  • Illegal traffic stops are not permitted under the Tennessee Constitution.  A police officer cannot just randomly pull over a motorist without having legal justification called probable cause.  If probable cause for the traffic stop is not present, then a constitutional violation occurs and the case must be dismissed regardless if the motorist is found to be impaired after the fact.  In order to be pulled over, the arresting officer needs reasonable suspicion supported by specific and articulable facts.

  • Failing to administer the field sobriety tests properly.  This is actually a common mistake made by law enforcement.  The arresting officer will typically rush through the field sobriety testing phase in order to make unofficial arrest quotas or other various reasons.  Sometimes, the arresting officer is simply poorly trained or just lazy.

  • Failing to follow procedures while administering the breath test.  It is important to remember that a breath test is only a piece of machinery.  It is essential for machinery to be maintained and serviced according to manufacturer’s service manual.  Machines can malfunction and become inaccurate. 

  • Inaccurate or incomplete police reports.  Perception often varies from person to person and some people hold biases.  Police officers are no different.  Sometimes the paperwork doesn’t get finished or completed in its entirety.  This can sometimes just be a product of being overworked.  Regardless of the reason, it is important to carefully review all police reports and videos in order to determine what the truth actually is.  I have had cases where an arrest video completely under minded the officer’s arrest report.

  • Not preparing a DUI case for trial.  DUI officers are overworked and many of them make literally hundreds of DUI cases each year.  The truth be told they simply do not have the time to prepare for every trial they have scheduled.  In fact, they may have several trial scheduled for the same day.  Furthermore since your arrest, the same officer has arrested several more people for DUI and other offenses.  They probably do not remember arresting you without reviewing their arrest report.  At the end of the day, the arrest report is all they have and they may forget some of the worst facts of your case.  This is especially true is they neglected to properly complete their arrest report.  I have had trials where the arresting officer neglected to mention some of the worst aspects of my client’s DUI arrest.

  • It is important to remember that police officers are people also.  Most officers try to do their job to the best of their ability but they do make mistakes.  Because your freedom is on the line in a DUI case, it is important that they do their jobs correctly.  My job as a DUI attorney is to make sure that all procedures were properly followed.

  • It is also important to hold the police to a professional standard of conduct.  It is essential to make sure that they are honest when they pull over motorists and administer the tests. 

  • It is important to remember that some cops will lie and prosecutors will cover for them.  I have been upset a number of times when I felt as though the police were not telling the truth.  Sometimes I can prove it in court, sometimes I can’t.  Regardless, it is important to point out these inconsistencies to judges and jurors.  If given a chance, they will see the truth.

  • My job as an attorney is to carefully examine each and every aspect of your case to make sure that all police procedures were followed.  I will leave no stone unturned.  I take pride in my work and enjoy the challenges of DUI defense.

If you need help with a DUI case, give me a call at 615-345-1988.   I have over 17 years of DUI experiences and I know how to get results.

I help good people restore their lives

-Lee Martin is a Nashville criminal defense lawyer who has gained national recognition as a DUI and criminal defense attorney.  With over a decade of experience, he knows how to get results in DUI cases.  If you are seeking an experienced DUI defense attorney, use his experiences to your advantage.  If you need help with a pending DUI charge, give him a call at 615-345-1988.

National Trial Lawyers Top 100 in the areas of DUI and criminal defense.

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