There are certain events that occur in court that tell experienced criminal defense attorneys that they are going to win the case. The most common is when cops testify at trial to facts that are not in their report, particularly at an OUI trial. During a typical drunk driving trial the prosecution witnesses are only cops. In large part criminal lawyers base their defense on the contents of the police report, as do the district attorneys. If, in preparation for trial the police tell the district attorney facts that were not recorded the district attorney must immediately advise the defense. In reality, this really happens. Rather, the cops improvise at trial. As discussed in this post, this is a good thing for the defense. When this happens you are probably going to win your case.
Jurors Get Suspicious When Cops Do Not Make Full Disclosures in Their Reports
Cross-examination of police officers in drunk driving cases starts with a pattern of questions designed to lock the officer into the facts established in his or her report. The line of questioning is typically as follows:
Q. As part of your training and experience you are taught how to draft police reports, correct?
A. Yes we are.
Q. And you are taught to record as much detail as you can at or near the time of the incident, isn’t that correct?
Q. And you do that with the knowledge that the district attorney will use this report to determine whether or not to charge the crime alleged, isn’t that right?
A. Yes it is.
Q. And you know that the district attorney will prepare his or her case with this report, correct?
Q. You know that the defense will get a copy of this report, right?
Q. And you know that the defense prepares its case in large part from the report, is that right?
A. Yes it is.
Q. And you are not trying to hide anything from the defense are you officer?
A. No I am not.
Q. And you have to sign off on that report, correct?
Q. And your supervisor also has to sign off on the report, is that right?
A. Yes it is.
Q. And on direct, in addition to testifying to a,b and c you testified to d,e and f didn’t you?
A. Yes I did.
Q. And none of that is in your report is it officer?
A. No it is not.
If you got his far you are going to win the case. Jurors hate witnesses being deceitful. To them, it is a personal affront particularly when the witness admits to having an obligation for fully disclosing the facts of the case in a report. Just this week I tried a case with a line of questioning that paralleled these questions. It took the jury less than an hour to acquit my client. I am convinced that the failure to include all details in the report was the reason for my client being exonerated.
Massachusetts OUI Law Firm
Attorney Stephen Neyman has won countless OUI cases for clients in Massachusetts. We try these cases throughout the state. Our approach is simple and convincing. If you have an OUI case call us. We are successful drunk driving defense lawyers who can be reached at 617-263-6800 or by email or website chat.