So, you were arrested, maybe in Bloomfield Hills, and charged with a DUI, or operating while intoxicated (OWI), as it is termed under Michigan law. The police officer may have asked you to take a preliminary breath test during the initial stop, which you refused, and you later submitted a blood sample to determine your blood alcohol level at the police station where you spent the next four to 24 hours in a jail cell. Finally, while not terribly common in the Metro Detroit area, you possibly appeared before a judge where you were told the charges against you, and asked for a plea of guilty or not guilty. This entire process is designed to intimidate you so that people will be less likely to challenge police action. Hopefully, the next step you took involved hiring a criminal lawyer, like John Little, who represents clients in DUI cases in Royal Oak, Troy, and the surrounding cities. The critical aspect of challenging any DUI charge for all criminal defense attorneys is to carefully examine the evidence collected and generated by police to see if it matches with the allegations of the arresting police officer. Things like a blood draw and the video and recordings of the stop and arrest are vital pieces of information the lawyer needs. But, how does one ensure evidence is preserved until trial, and what if the state refuses to turn over the video and recordings? A good lawyer will know how to make sure this evidence is turned over and kept for analysis by defense’s experts. Methods of responding to this situation to make certain the person charged with a DUI receives a fair trial and opportunity for defense will follow below.
FOIA Denials and Appeals
Information collected and created by police during a criminal investigation is considered a public record because it was generated by a government agency and subject to release under Michigan’s Freedom of Information Act (FOIA). A seasoned criminal defense attorney, like those at the Law Office of John Little, PLLC, serving clients from Birmingham and throughout Southeast Michigan, knows how to submit this request and how to effectively respond when the state claims the information cannot be released under an exception to the law. The most common exceptions that would apply in DUI cases are that the release of the records would interfere with law enforcement investigations or disclose law enforcement investigative techniques. If police refused to turn over the video and recordings related to an arrest, the defendant has the right to file a lawsuit to force the release of the information, and criminal lawyer John Little would strongly contest any such claim by police by arguing that this information is essential to providing a fair trial and disputing the accuracy of the prosecution’s case.
Police Policy on Keeping Evidence
Police officers in Michigan typically only keep in-car and booking videos for as little as 30 days, so it is essential to request a copy of these recordings as soon as possible. Usually, videos will be produced through a simple request to the prosecution, but depending on the police department, it is sometimes necessary to use the FOIA information request noted above. The most important decision a person facing a criminal case can make is choosing an attorney who knows the most effective way to get the evidence needed to beat a DUI charge. Attorney John Little, with offices in Royal Oak, may be the right lawyer for you.
Get the Legal Defense You Need
If you are facing a DUI charge, do not face the prosecution alone. Hiring an experienced attorney familiar with the most effective defenses in these cases will make the likelihood of a dismissal or reduction in charges much higher. The Law Office of John Little, PLLC, serving clients throughout Southeastern Michigan, is ready to help defend you. Contact him at (248) 865-3455 for a free phone consultation.