If you were stopped in the state of Colorado for suspicion of driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol (DUI), you still have legal rights under the law. While many police officers are honorable and uphold the law and rights of citizens, unfortunately, there are cases of police misconduct that violate the rights of those stopped for suspicion of a DUI.
Types of Police Misconduct
There are several examples of police misconduct that would ultimately allow DUI charges to be dropped or reduced. Some of the types of police misconduct could include the following:
- Lack of Probable Cause. The Fourth Amendment to the United States Constitution requires that a police officer has probable cause to stop a vehicle. If there was no reasonable cause to pull you over (weaving, running a stop sign, etc.), then any evidence obtained after the stop could be excluded from your case.
- Failure to Follow Proper Protocol and Procedures. If a law enforcement officer fails to follow any proper protocol and procedures during a DUI stop, the evidence may be excluded from your case. This may include using excessive force, causing injury, or acting in a harassing or abuse way towards the driver of the stopped vehicle.
- Evidence Mishandling. If any evidence is lost, mishandled, damaged, fabricated or contaminated, it will damage the case against you, and could potentially lead to a dismissal.
- Inaccurate Police Report. If the police officer fails to complete a police report accurately regarding the DUI stop, then there is a chance that the DUI case may be dismissed.
- False Testimony. If a police officer contradicts their own police report or lies under oath, then the DUI case may be dismissed.
Proving Police Misconduct
The challenge is to prove that police misconduct occurred in a DUI case. In many cases, this will take an independent investigation and involve complex legal matters. Evidence will need to be examined carefully, as well as any machines that were used to register blood alcohol content. Additionally, if the police officer had any video this will need to be studied in detail as well. Witness testimony as well as how evidence was obtained can all be critical elements in proving police misconduct. Unfortunately, in many cases, DUI evidence is illegally obtained or even fabricated. In other cases, a police officer fills out a police report incorrectly (even copying and pasting from a different DUI arrest they did) or lies under oath in the courtroom.
Contact an Experienced Defense Attorney
Conducting an independent investigation into police misconduct regarding a DUI stop can be a complex legal undertaking and involve a great deal of analysis and examination of details from the reason for the stop, to how the DUI stop and testing was conducted, to how the police officer wrote up the official report. Visiting with an experienced defense attorney can help you understand how you may be able to have your DUI charges either dropped or reduced due to police misconduct. Contact the experienced defense attorneys at The Moorhead Law Group at (303) 447-1400 or online.