Can discrepancies between video of field sobriety test and police report be enough grounds for dismissal? 16 Answers as of April 30, 2013

I found several discrepancies in the officer's report. It says there was one victim in the driving under the influence arrest when I did not hit anyone. It also says that upon talking to me, he noticed poor motor skills then asked me to exit the car which makes absolutely no sense. It also states the stop was on a different street and that I was wearing gym shoes when I was actually wearing boots which won't correlate with the alleged video they claim to have.

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Hudson Bair | Hudson Bair
You need to discuss this with a DUI lawyer. Often the discrepancies between a video and police report can cause a Judge or Jury to look skeptically at other statements made by the officer, if it is in a pre-trial context a motion can be run that may lead the Judge to dismiss the case, or prohibit the prosecution from using some or all of the evidence against you.
Answer Applies to: California
Replied: 4/30/2013
Michael Breczinski
Michael Breczinski | Michael Breczinski
Maybe but I would need to see the video and the police reports to advise further.
Answer Applies to: Michigan
Replied: 4/30/2013
Law Offices of Laurie A. Schmidt, P.C. | Laurie Schmidt
Discrepancies within a police report and the actual events are not typically a reason for a dismissal- but can be a reason for a jury to disbelieve ANYTHING that the cop says; and thus not convict you of the criminal charges. Obtaining a copy of the video is a good first step- retaining a good DUI attorney is a must. DUI attorneys know how to capitalize and present your case and your defense to a jury.
Answer Applies to: Colorado
Replied: 4/29/2013
Universal Law Group, Inc. | Francis John Cowhig
Without seeing the video and police report, it is difficult to say whether the discrepancies are enough to justify a dismissal. If you have not done so already.
Answer Applies to: California
Replied: 4/28/2013
Timothy J. Thill P.C.
Timothy J. Thill P.C. | Timothy J. Thill
Discuss those discrepancies with your lawyer. Taken together, they may be enough to have a finding of not guilty returned after a trial. On the other hand, they may be considered by the trier of fact to be immaterial inconsistencies, and not sufficient to break down the officer's credibility. The video may show that you were, indeed impaired at the time of the stop.
Answer Applies to: Illinois
Replied: 4/28/2013
    The Houser Law Firm, P.C.
    The Houser Law Firm, P.C. | A. Bowden Houser
    In the movie _/A Clockwork Orange/_ there is a nifty quote which goes "Padre, these are subtleties!" None of the 'discrepancies' you mention would be grounds for a dismissal - even if taken together as a whole. One of them isn't even a discrepancy at all. Noticing poor motor skills and then asking you to get out of the car is common place - especially, if the officer was referring to your speech and/or movements while he/she approached the car. Officers fill out lots of reports and mistakes often get made. These discrepancies can simply be amended by the officer or corrected during testimony. However, all is not lost. If you go to trial, especially if your case gets to the level of a jury trial - your lawyer, if he is worth his salt, will hammer away at these inconsistencies in an effort to call into question all of the officers report and testimony. The bottom line in a DWI case is if you blew higher than a .10 and the officers did everything mostly properly - you are most likely going to be found guilty. After they have completed their initial investigation into your case, an experienced DWI attorney will have about a 98% accurate idea of the outcome if the case goes to trial at the district court level and about a 75% accurate estimate for a superior court jury trial (you can never really tell what a jury will do - juries are full of idiots too stupid to get out of jury duty - or worse actually want to be there). An ethical DWI attorney will not waste your time and money if they believe the odds are stacked against you and will instead focus on minimizing the punishment aspect. Problem is, you won't know if you have an ethical attorney - some of us are pretty slick. It never hurts to get more than one opinion about your case - most attorney's offer free consultations.
    Answer Applies to: North Carolina
    Replied: 4/28/2013
    Blumenauer Hackworth, PA
    Blumenauer Hackworth, PA | Jonathan Hackworth
    No, those are not grounds for dismissal. The Florida Rules of Civil Procedure and Florida case law provide valid reasons for dismissing a case and discrepancies are not a basis. They are very likely great matters for cross examination of the police officer during trial to impeach his credibility regarding his observations, but they are not simply going to dismiss the case for what you have described. I have tried many DUIs and can tell you the credibility of the "stop cop" is very important. We handle cases throughout Central Florida and offer free case consultations. Good luck.
    Answer Applies to: Florida
    Replied: 4/28/2013
    The Law Offices of Harold L. Wallin | Harold L. Wallin
    It is helpful to your case at trial. The case won't be dismissed simply because of that.
    Answer Applies to: Illinois
    Replied: 4/28/2013
    Lawrence Lewis
    Lawrence Lewis | Lawrence Lewis, PC
    Dismissal with a skilled attorney. NOT a dismissal with you representing yourself. Why does it make no sense that he would see poor motor skills (like in your trying to pull out your driver's license and reaching for things in the vehicle)? Why would the officer not ask you to exit the vehicle, in order to see you walk?
    Answer Applies to: Georgia
    Replied: 4/26/2013
    Law Office of Robert Sisson | Robert Sisson
    Perhaps. A good atty will help.
    Answer Applies to: Wisconsin
    Replied: 4/26/2013
    TAMBASCO & ASSOCIATES, P.C. Attorneys at Law | R. Tambasco
    Any existing factual inconsistencies may be of benefit to you. This may be a case where your attorney may depose the police officer to make a record which may be used for discovery purposes as well possible impeachment of the officer during trial. However, if the inconsistencies are meaningful enough, the prosecutor may reevaluate the matter favorably towards you.
    Answer Applies to: Indiana
    Replied: 4/26/2013
    Law Office of Brendan M. Kelly
    Law Office of Brendan M. Kelly | Brendan M. Kelly
    You are correct that your actions on tape can conflict with what the cops say. That is usually how a lawyer helps your case.
    Answer Applies to: Nebraska
    Replied: 4/26/2013
    Conway Law Pllc.
    Conway Law Pllc. | B. L. Conway
    No, but those are fodder for cross examination. You better get a Great Lawyer
    Answer Applies to: Virginia
    Replied: 4/26/2013
    Attorney at Law
    Attorney at Law | Michael J. Kennedy
    The reason many police agencies did not want the installation of those video devices [MVARS] is because they do frequently reveal that police reports are..., well, not accurate on critical matters. It will not result in a dismissal, automatically, but it will certainly allow helpful impeachment in front of the judge for suppression motion purposes and in front of the jury at trial, so the DA might decide to cut his losses by getting rid of the case. The public needs to understand that their squeaky-clean looking cops are frequently not clean at all.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 4/26/2013
    Law Office of Steve Leydiker
    Law Office of Steve Leydiker | Steve Leydiker
    That likely will not be enough for a dismissal but it can go towards officers credibility if the discrepancies are serious enough. For example, if the officer wrote that you were falling down and the video shows you performing the FSTs without a problem, the prosecutor may decide to dismiss. I don't think a mistake on the shoes or street will be enough. It was you on the video wasn't it?
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 4/26/2013
    Law Office of Jeff Yeh
    Law Office of Jeff Yeh | Jeff Yeh
    That would really depend on how good your lawyer is, and how familiar he/she is with DUI defense.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 4/26/2013
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