The best thing someone can do is be open with their attorney during the consultation, although a smart attorney will ask specific questions. I don’t like the idea of an attorney simply asking what happened. Sometimes there is information that the client wants to disclose that can be harmful to their case. An attorney has an ethical obligation of candor to the court, which means an attorney cannot lie to the court.
One of the most common issues in DUI cases is whether the person was actually operating the vehicle. I am very specific in my questioning to find out where my client was located when police officers came to the scene, so it could be established who was in actual physical control of the vehicle. Sometimes I do not want to know what my potential client has to say regarding whether they were actually driving the vehicle and I am more concerned about what the evidence will show.
If the evidence showed that at the time the officers came to the scene, the potential client was a 100 feet away, then I would not necessarily want to hear from my potential client whether they were actually driving the vehicle. I would rather leave that up in the air and see what the police report had to say, because if the potential client claimed they were actually driving the vehicle, then I would be stuck with that and I would not be able to ethically argue to the judge or jury that they were not driving a vehicle.
I have very specific questions and I want specific answers to those questions. There may be things I would not want to know but I need my potential clients to be as upfront as possible and let me know the truth of the situation when I ask them questions.
If my client hides their prior DUI, something else that they had pending or that they were on probation at that time, then these are things that could dramatically change the case. Some clients have had really good cases but then later told me they also had another DUI in a different court or they were on probation at that time, which can dramatically change how the case would be handled. It is important to be honest with the attorney after listening to the questions being asked.
Could an account of someone’s medical conditions help their case?
They can be helpful and relevant in the case. In most prosecuting agencies, if the officer suspects that the person is impaired by alcohol, they would investigate the DUI, arrest someone for it and request the person submit to a blood test in order to test their alcohol content. If the alcohol content came back too low, then often times the prosecutors and the prosecutor’s lab will take it upon themselves to retest the blood for drugs or medications.
If the blood alcohol content came back quite high, it would be unlikely for the prosecutor to bother testing the blood for drugs or medications. It is important for the client to let their attorney know whether there might be drugs or medications in their system, and to advise the attorney of any medical issues the person might have, because sometimes signs and symptoms of alcohol impairment can mimic signs and symptoms of a medical issue.
When an officer claims they noticed someone had slurred speech, for example, it may be due to them having medical issues that have nothing to do with any alcohol, drugs or medications that the person consumed.
Would A Back Or Knee Injury, Diabetes, Acid Reflux Or Asthma Affect A Field Sobriety Test?
It would be best to seek your lawyer’s advice on whether that information should be gathered up. Different types of medical issues can bring up different issues with a DUI case. It can become an issue when field sobriety tests are done if someone has issues with their legs, their knees, or their back, because it could lead to the possibility of false positives.
An officer is supposed to ask the person if they have any medical issues that would prevent them from doing the field sobriety tests, but they do not always ask this question. Officers sometimes conduct field sobriety tests despite the person saying they have medical issues that might lead to false positives. It is important to let the attorney know if the person has medical issues because that fact might account for why they did poorly on the field sobriety tests.
Certain symptoms of diabetes can mimic alcohol impairment or alcohol consumption. Acid reflux is a condition where there are certain issues with the stomach and esophagus which may cause other issues when dealing with a breath test. Almost any medical issue might have an impact on explaining away certain signs and symptoms that the officer might be attempting to attribute to alcohol, drugs or medications.
For more information on Medical Issues That Might Affect Sobriety Tests, a free initial consultation is your next best step. Get the information and legal answers you’re seeking by calling 480-900-0384 today.