Examination of Arresting Officer
In your Pennsylvania DUI trial, both the district attorney and your defense lawyer will call witnesses whose testimony supports their position. The district attorney will likely call the police officer who arrested you as the first witness. The arresting officer will provide some of the most challenging testimony against you in your Pennsylvania DUI case. Your experienced Pennsylvania DUI attorney from Zachary B. Cooper, Attorney at Law, P.C. will seek to do everything possible to minimize the impact of the arresting officer's testimony against you.
The district attorney will lead the arresting officer through a step-by-step account of your Pennsylvania DUI arrest, starting with the officer's observations of your driving patterns before you were pulled over. This is how the district attorney and the arresting officer will establish that probable cause existed to pull you over and eventually arrest you. Driving patterns associated with DUI can include weaving between lanes, driving without headlights, and driving too slowly.
The district attorney will next ask the arresting officer to describe your traffic stop, including your response to the officer's request to pull over and any observations of your physical or mental condition. The officer may say that you had red, watery eyes, an odor of alcohol, slurred speech, or other signs of alcohol use.
The officer will discuss your performance on a field sobriety test. The officer's testimony will likely focus on any portions of the test that he or she claims you performed poorly and may avoid areas where you performed well. During cross-examination, your Pennsylvania DUI attorney will ask the arresting officer about parts of the test you performed correctly. Your Pennsylvania DUI lawyer will also ask the officer about how he or she administered the test, whether it was done according to accepted protocol, and whether he or she correctly scored you on those roadside exercises.
The district attorney will then question the arresting officer about the chemical test you took that determined your blood alcohol content (BAC). The officer will explain how the test was conducted, establish a chain of custody for a blood or urine sample, and testify about your BAC result.
After the district attorney completes the direct examination of the arresting officer, your Pennsylvania DUI attorney has an opportunity for cross-examination. Cross-examination of prosecution witnesses provides a chance for your Pennsylvania DUI attorney to talk directly to the jurors. This is typically accomplished by asking questions that require a yes or no answer. Your attorney's questions will focus on possible explanations for the evidence against you that are unrelated to alcohol intoxication.
Like jury selection, cross-examination of the arresting officer is a crucial stage in your Pennsylvania DUI trial. When your Pennsylvania DUI attorney makes points with the district attorney's witness, jurors will sit up and take notice.
The attorneys at Zachary B. Cooper, Attorney at Law, P.C. have received training in the field sobriety testing, breath testing and blood testing, and are skilled at cross-examining witnesses on the issues presented in your case. The Pennsylvania DUI lawyers at Zachary B. Cooper, Attorney at Law, P.C. use this training throughout your case to strategically assess every element of the case against you.
For more information about effective cross-examination techniques and other strategies to fight a driving under the influence charge, please contact a skilled Pennsylvania DUI attorney from Zachary B. Cooper, Attorney at Law, P.C. today for a free consultation.