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What issues are defense attorneys concerned about in DUI cases?

Bernard Pierce, former backup running back for the Baltimore Ravens, is reportedly set to go to trial on a DUI charge in October, as some of our readers who are sports fans may have heard. Pierce’s trial is connected to an arrest back in March, which ultimately led to his release from the team. The arrest occurred after Pierce had been with the Ravens for about three years. Now, of course, Pierce is with the Jaguars.

Sources aren’t clear exactly why Pierce is challenging his DUI case, and provide next to no information on the details of the arrest, such as Pierce’s blood alcohol content, why Pierce was pulled over in the first place, whether Pierce performed sobriety tests and what the results of those tests were, and whether Pierce refused to cooperate with any testing. These and other factors are all important in making an assessment of a criminal case. 

When a defense attorney first begins looking at a drunk driving case, he or she is going to want to know whether the arresting officer had probable cause to stop the motorist. If not, then this point needs to be challenged in court. If so, a defense attorney will want to know what evidence was gathered to demonstrate a state of intoxication and a consequent impact on the operation of the defendant’s motor vehicle. If a blood or urine sample is taken, it is important to know whether the proper procedure was followed, whether the equipment was properly maintained, and whether proper chain of custody was kept with respect to the sample.

These and other issues have an important impact in DUI cases, and defendants should always work with an experienced attorney to explore these and other important issues in building up their case.

Sources:

The Baltimore Sun, “Ex-Ravens running back Bernard Pierce assigned jury trial in DUI case,” Aaron Wilson, July 27, 2015. 

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