Cross-Examination of the Arresting Officer

Lynnwood DUI Attorney

The arresting officer is typically the key witness in the prosecution's case against a defendant facing DUI charges in Lynnwood, WA. The officer will be all too ready to state, in court, that you drove erratically, made statements about what you had to drink, performed poorly on field sobriety tests or otherwise showed indicators of intoxication. Though it may seem that the officer will be your biggest adversary in court proceedings, there are ways that a skilled Lynnwood criminal defense lawyer can challenge the arresting officer's testimony by conducting an effective, aggressive cross-examination.

An officer's age, particular experience and prejudice and degree of intelligence and honesty are all factors that should be considered by a DUI defense attorney when conducting a cross-examination. The officer may have done this hundreds of times before and may be completely at home on the stand or may be relatively new. By approaching the officer as an individual and by using a tactful approach, an attorney may be effective in directing the course of the cross-examination in such a manner as to benefit the defense. This may include asking questions in such a way as to have the officer finding him or herself agreeing with the defense attorney. It may include proving that the officer's tactics in making the arrest or performing tests were questionable at best.

Challenging the Officer's Testimony

Some issues to possibly address during cross-examination may include:

  • The defendant's driving behavior - did he/she actually violate a traffic law or show other conduct that indicated intoxication, or was he/she simply leaving a bar at closing time?
  • The defendant's statements and general behavior - do bloodshot eyes actually indicate intoxication, or could the defendant have been suffering from an allergic reaction? Did the defendant actually make statements that indicated that he/she had been drinking?
  • Field sobriety tests - were these administered exactly as per procedure? Did the officer make an honest assessment of the driver's performance, without prejudice?
  • The arrest - did the officer have probable cause to make an arrest for DUI? Was the defendant properly arrested?

Need an attorney for your DUI case in Lynnwood, WA? You need to team up with a skilled Lynnwood DUI lawyer from my firm. Call the Law Office of Lance R. Fryrear today!