DWI—The Importance of the Proper Paperwork in DWI Trials

When I was in law enforcement, I worked a lot of DWI cases and I often went to court on DWI charges.

As a cop, one thing I always found profound was the attorneys that took DWI cases and what they did not ask from law enforcement. I realized that many attorneys did not fully appreciate what it takes to do real DWI defense.

Toward the end of my career, I rarely took paperwork to court that I needed to sustain a conviction. I failed to do so because I wanted to see how much attorneys knew about DWI and if they knew what they were looking at when law enforcement handed over paperwork to defense counsel. The results were profound.

I did not take certificates relating to the establishment of the BAC Datamaster. I did not take certificates relating to the approval of the BAC Datamaster. I did not take certificates that evinced my certification to operate the BAC Datamaster. I did not take certificates which proved I was certified to perform NHTSA Standardized Field Sobriety Tests.

The absolute baffling part of it all was that the attorneys never asked for this paperwork. They never asked to see the certifications. All they asked for was the Datamaster log book. When they got that, they only looked to see if there was red ink indicating calibration within thirty days prior to the arrest date.

Most attorneys said “my client has paid me over $1500.00 to get them something good, so, Lancaster, give me something good—come on, help me out.” So I gave them the standard offer: Your client pleads guilty to DWI, I will drop/merge the rest of the charges.”

They took it every day of the week and twice on a Thursday afternoon.

Many did not understand that the certificates are just as important as the log book. If a cop does not have all the certificates, he cannot prove essential components to the case. If those components relate to the Datamaster, he or she will lose every day of the week, and twice on a Thursday afternoon.

At The Lancaster Law Firm, we understand what it takes to win a DWI case. When we deal with cops that do not have their required certificates, we understand that “I can go get them” is not a sufficient answer. We fight for you and your rights.

Your rights demand that law enforcement and the prosecution provide proper paperwork. If the paperwork is not there, you should, by law, be acquitted. The Lancaster Law Firm is here to help. If you have been arrested for DWI, we are here for you and we know what constitutes legally proper paperwork.

Clint Lancaster, Managing Partner

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