What Are Some Strategies Used To Refute Blood Tests?
The strategy I use most often in all of my blood cases is I want to get the records from the lab, I want to see the chromatograph records of the actual blood testing, the machines that were used, and I want to see how those machines were maintained, and the proper procedures utilized. I want to see the lab procedures, but with blood testing, there are many things that we can look at. Getting the video of a blood draw, the timing of it, sometimes it takes them too long from the time they get it to the time they actually do the testing.
I have saved clients’ licenses, because of blood testing taking too long to get the results. It is crazy, but we have some labs in the Bay area, and some of the agencies we deal with are fed up with these labs, and they are willing to set aside cases because they are not getting the results they need. San Francisco DMV has done that on a number of occasions. They have all sorts of problems with the labs. Therefore, we go after the lab and their credibility. That can be challenging, but we need as much video as we can get to show that procedures were not properly followed, and listening to audio if we get it, and the exchanges between officers, blood draw experts, our clients, and whoever is around to see that procedures were followed properly.
Another thing we do, but not very often, we can re-test blood to see if there was something wrong with the original test. That typically just confirms the original test. What it does is it takes away the ability to point out everything that could go wrong with this test, because once we re-test, then the other side can say, “Well, you re-tested and there was nothing wrong with it”, so we do not always re-test. The burden is on the prosecution to show the accuracy, not on us to confirm the accuracy for them. That is not our job.
Is It Realistic For Someone To Try And Defend Against Chemical Tests On Their Own In A DUI?
I train attorneys on how to defend DUI cases. It is fine for someone who has little experience to take on a DUI case if they have a mentor, and if they are working on it with someone who really understands these cases. However, it is amazing how many lawyers send out notices once you have been arrested for a DUI. Would you hire one of those lawyers? Someone sent me something in the mail that let my letter carrier, and whoever got my mail, knew that I got a DUI? These are not experienced DUI lawyers who go through the discovery process. Some may be, but most are not, and most of them plead you guilty right away and take your money.
You want to hire an experienced lawyer to get the best results you can with these DUI cases. Knowing everything you can do is how you are going to get the best results for your clients. Therefore, the answer to that is simple. If it is someone knows what he or she is doing, and they are learning from that lawyer and that lawyer is looking over their shoulder making sure everything is done properly yes, you are fine. Do you want that brand new lawyer trying their first case without a mentor? Probably not, but once they have the experience, there are some great young lawyers out there, but they need the experience. Therefore, types of cases, that younger and experienced lawyer may be the right person, but typically, not in these complex DUI cases. Nevertheless, it is up to the individual.
The Sixth Amendment gives us the right to the counsel of our choosing. It is very important that people need to take this seriously. You get what you pay for. Unfortunately, I say that excessively, but it is true.
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