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Understanding A Washington DUI Police Report

Police Report Contents

If you are facing a DUI charge in Washington, you may be facing serious Washington DUI consequences and being able to understand what everything on the police report means may be critical. The police report, more often than not, is the single most important piece of evidence in a Washington DUI case. Most likely, the police report is going to make you look bad. In some cases, much of what is on the report may seem to you like a flat out lie. However, before jumping to any conclusions, it may be important to really understand the contents of the report. After all, the police report may most likely be the number one most important piece of evidence that you may have to overcome at trial.

A DUI police report may contain several key pieces of information. Three of these key pieces may be a field sobriety test checklist, BAC test results (if you took a Breathalyzer or chemical test), and a narrative report. The narrative report is basically the story of what happened from the police officer’s perspective. The narrative may also contain the police officer’s observations about your behavior and what made them suspect you of being under the influence.

Officer's Narrative

The reason the officer’s narrative is so important is because, if your case goes to trial, the officer may stick almost 100% to what was said in his narrative on the police report when they testify against you. The reason officers may do this is because they know that if their testimony in court is substantially different from what they said on their police report, the report could be used as evidence against them. In many cases, this would allow your lawyer to have the officer’s testimony thrown out entirely. Should this happen, you’d most likely win the case. However, it may be rare for an officer to deviate from his narrative on the police report and it may take a highly skilled Washington DUI lawyer to identify those deviations and use them in your defense.

BAC Tests

Besides the officer’s narrative, the police report may also contain any tests that were performed. This may include field sobriety tests, Breathalyzer tests, urine tests, and blood tests. The accuracy of BAC tests may vary but they still may be an important obstacle to overcome in defending yourself from DUI charges. Even if you disprove the officer’s entire testimony, if the BAC tests show .08% or more (and the jury believes the results), you may still face the same consequences. For this reason, it may be as important to concentrate on placing reasonable doubt on the test results as it may be to defend yourself from the officer’s testimony.

As you can see, police reports may be difficult to understand and building up a viable defense based on what a police report says may be even more difficult. That’s why it may be important to have a capable Tacoma DUI attorney at your side. At Murphy’s Law Offices, we have years of experience defending individuals from Washington DUI charges and we are ready to help you. A Washington DUI charge may have very serious, potentially life-changing consequences, so act now. Contact Dan Murphy’s Law Offices today for a free consultation.

Call today — (253) 312-6122 — your future may depend on it.

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Practice Areas

  • DUI Cases
  • Criminal Defense
  • Auto Accidents
  • Personal Injury
  • Drug Forfeiture
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Murphy’s Law Offices
506 S. 11th St.
Tacoma, WA 98402
Phone: (253) 312-6122

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