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DUI » DUI Testing » Challenging DUI Evidence » Cross-Examination of the Arresting Officer

Cross-Examination of the Arresting Officer

During a DUI court trial or DMV hearing, both the defense and the prosecution will have the opportunity to bring witnesses to the stand to testify in regard to the case at hand. The key witness on the prosecuting attorney's side is usually the officer who made the initial stop and arrest of the defendant. This is a difficult part of the case because it entails the arresting officer making statements, under oath, regarding his or her observations, performance on field sobriety tests, the defendant's driving behavior and any statements made by the driver. The point of the arresting officer's testimony is to give the judge and / or jury evidence that supports the driver's guilt.

Importance of Cross-Examination: Corroborating Your Case

Fortunately, your lawyer will have the opportunity to cross-examine the arresting officer. The cross-examination involves the interrogation of the arresting officer on the witness stand. This is one of the most important parts of the case. Effectively challenging the officer's testimony, proving lack of knowledge or proving that a mistake was made is often even more effective than bringing a defense witness to testify to these facts. The most effective cross-examination is conducted when the defense delivers his or her questions in such a manner as to force the arresting officer to answer "yes" or "no" to corroborate the defense attorney's side of the case.

The jury expects the prosecution's witness to agree with the prosecution, but when the arresting officer seems to agree with the defense attorney, the jury pays attention. Therefore, the cross-examination is your attorney's chance to get the law enforcement officer to testify to things that you did right in field sobriety testing, to prove that an error was made, or to prove that the officer may not have actually had probable cause to pull you over or make an arrest for drunk driving. This can turn the tide of your case in your favor. Contact Thomas & Paulk today to learn more about cross-examination and how this is a useful tool in fighting drunk driving charges.

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