Any time an officer responds to a scene to investigate a DUI or for suspicion that alcohol might be involved, the investigation to a DUI criminal investigation. Fredericksburg DUI investigations can be intimidating, but an experienced attorney could ease your concerns and advocate for your interests in court. Call today to set up a consultation.
The tests Fredericksburg or Virginia officers conduct to detect the presence of alcohol in individuals injured in an accident are the national standardized methods for conducting DUI investigations. For the most part, Virginia officers use the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration standards.
The NHTSA is a nationwide scientific body that designed indicators to detect the presence of alcohol in somebody’s blood without taking their BAC or without taking a blood test. The NHTSA tests are what officers are trained to use through their respected criminal institute.
There are three main tests: the walk-and-turn, the one-leg stand, and the horizontal gaze test. These are the only three NHTSA approved standardized tests that are in use for DUI cases in the State of Virginia. Other tests that a person might see are the ABCs, counting backward, the finger-nose test, or finger-thumb dexterity test. However, none of those tests are standardized.
A person’s statements made during a crash investigation are never protected. In some cases, but not all, a person may be read their Miranda rights by a responding officer. However, not being read the Miranda rights does not mean that a person should speak freely. Reading of Miranda rights is only required if 1), a person is under arrest and 2) a person is being interrogated. If one of those things is not true, a person does not have to be given a Miranda warning before they make a statement. It is rare to be put under arrest first and asked questions later. Officers will often ask several preliminary questions long before making an arrest to ensure that they record some statement from the interaction.
All aspects and findings from a criminal case can be used in a related civil case. If a defendant has concerns about a civil claim, they should not make statements to their insurance or to anybody else about what happened. The defendant should also be careful of any potential testimony that they might give in their defense for their criminal case, as whatever they say could be used against them in a civil case.
An experienced attorney could use the criminal case as the groundwork for defense in a civil case, perhaps by using the same cross-examination questions to try to get information out of the prosecution’s witnesses that would be potentially helpful to them in the civil case. A lawyer could help ensure that a criminal defense does not damage a civil defense and that the defense of both cases can work in tandem.
If you were arrested for driving under the influence, you need a strong defense. If police improperly obtained the evidence in Fredericksburg DUI investigations, an attorney may be able to use this to your advantage. Call today to discuss your case and how an attorney could help.