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DWI Trial - What happens if the officers credibility, or lack of credibility, in this case is damaged during trial.

San Marcos, TX |

Can the case be thrown out regardless of other evidence?

Will it only be considered by the jury when making their judgement?

What else may happen?

Attorney Answers 6


The jury will have to factor the officer's credibility when determining their verdict. Usually cases aren't thrown out due to one unreliable witness. Good luck.

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It is up to the jury to evaluate the officer's credibility and decide how much weight to give to his testimony. The case will not be thrown out. The jury. Will either find you guilty or not guilty.

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The officer's credibility is among many potential issues in a DUI case. But it's impossible for us to answer your questions without the ability to judge the rest of your case. If you have an attorney, express your concerns about the officer's credibility to them. Good luck.

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An officer's credibility is a factor in deciding whether there is sufficient evidence for conviction but doesn't automatically get a case thrown out as three good Texas lawyers have already explained.

Often people think that because it isn’t a murder case, a drunk driving case is simple. Nothing could be further from the truth. These cases can be among the most complex a criminal defense lawyer handles. The government is willing to spend an incredible amount of money to convict you though. They will have expert witnesses available for consultation and trial.

That you have been charged or that some contraption says your alcohol level was at a certain level does not mean that you are guilty. It certainly does not mean that you can be proven guilty using competent, valid evidence.

Field sobriety “tests” are designed to give police a reason to arrest. You cannot “pass” them. The police will admit that almost a third of healthy young adults who take these tests without any alcohol will be judged to be “under the influence” – and that assumes they are properly administered!

After even a first drunk driving conviction, you may face employment discrimination. You will certainly be charged higher for insurance. Having such a conviction will also make you a target for drunk driving arrest in future interactions with police. You will automatically become a suspect.

You will want a lawyer who is familiar with field sobriety “tests,” perhaps one who is certified to administer these tests. You will want a lawyer familiar with the weaknesses of the contraptions that are used to report alcohol or drug levels. You want an experienced trial lawyer, used to cross-examining police officers. Police officers are practiced, experienced witnesses.

That is, you want an experienced drunk driving defense lawyer, whether you call the offense DUI, OWI, DWI, OUI, or drugged driving.

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All of the answers from the previous attorneys are absolutely correct. DWI cases are highly technical and take experienced lawyers to try them right. The officer's credibility may have something to do with the justification for pulling you over, his conclusions on your field sobriety test, or other issues affecting the admissibility of post-arrest evidence. However, if it's a breath test case, the prosecution will also present testimony from their Intoxylizer expert and possibly their Intoxylizer calibration/maintenance tech. If it's a blood test case, they'll have a lab tech expert. There are many pieces to the DWI puzzle. And witness credibility is one of the main things a lawyer attacks at trial--but the finder of fact, usually a jury in DWIs, ultimately decides on that. Good luck.

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As indicated in other responses, DWI cases are very complex and involve many legal issues. The credibility of the arresting officer is but one such issue. It is impossible to evaluate what effect this will have in your case because the credibility of witnesses and the believability of testimony is entirely the province of the jury.

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