Damico & Stockstill, Attorneys at Law

Louisiana deputies suspended after evidence collection mishap

When officers stop a vehicle for a traffic violation or are questioning motorists and passengers following a motor vehicle accident, the officers will likely conduct investigation by questioning the driver. By gathering this evidence, law enforcement might have enough information to prove their suspicions correct, that the driver is under the influence of alcohol. While officers cannot act on just these suspicions alone, specific evidence must be uncovered to warrant an arrest and a charge for drunk driving. When this evidence is not available or improperly collected, this can present challenges in the state's case, opening up defense options for the accused.

According to recent reports, three deputies in Louisiana are currently suspended after they presumably allowed a driver suspected of being under the influence of alcohol to leave the hospital without being tested. This occurred following a two-vehicle crash that occurred the night of Mardi Gras.

Investigators later learned that the hospital had drawn blood from the driver. A warrant was later issued for this blood sample, which was soon turned over to the Louisiana State Police Crime Lab. Supposedly; the sample collected was enough evidence to arrest the 25-year-old driver. He was arrested and charged with careless operation DWI 1st, negligent injuring, as two people were harmed in the crash and driving with a suspended license.

As this matter highlights, issues could occur during investigation following an automobile collision. When individuals are faced with drunk driving charges, this does not mean they are left to face the consequences without a fight. Initiating a defense could all into question the procedures used to collect evidence. If errors were made, this could question the legality of the evidence.

Suppressing evidence is just one defense options defendants have. There are other ways to reduce or dismiss the charges against them, making it vital that they explore their legal rights and options in the matter.

Source: Wbrz.com, "Deputies disciplined for mishandling DWI crash investigation," March 2, 2018

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