Circumstantial Evidence The Authorities Can Use In Your DUI Case
Direct evidence is the most obvious way to prove a criminal case, such as driving under the influence (DUI). However, prosecutors do not always have the direct evidence they need. Without direct evidence, prosecutors can use circumstantial evidence that implies the defendant committed the alleged crime.
Below are examples of circumstantial evidence a DUI prosecutor can use against you.
Physical Signs of Impairment
Intoxication triggers different signs in many people. For example, some people:
- Develop bloodshot or teary eyes
- Develop slurred speech
Therefore, the prosecution can use your physical signs of intoxication as circumstantial evidence. These signs are not definitive proof of your intoxication because other things other than intoxication can cause them. For example, eye diseases can turn your eyes red and teary. Use such alternative explanations in your defense.
Erratic Driving Style
Intoxication impairs driving, so the authorities work so hard to eradicate it. For example, intoxication might:
- Affect your hand-eye coordination
- Interfere with your reasoning
- Make you drowsy
- Interfere with your vision
- Slow your reaction time
Observers, such as law enforcement officers on patrol or eyewitnesses, might notice the effect on the way you drive. For example, you might accelerate fast, brake suddenly, or zigzag across the road. However, you might also do those things because you are a poor driver or ill. Thus, your erratic driving is circumstantial evidence of DUI.
Driver and Car Characteristics
The police can arrest and charge you with DUI even if no one sees you driving the car. In such a case, the police might use circumstantial evidence that implies intoxication. Consider a case where the police find you in a stationary car:
- With the engine running
- With you in the driver's seat
- With the engine hot and the keys in your hand
The police might assume that you had just driven the car and arrest you for DUI even if you are innocent. The onus is on you to prove an alternative explanation for the situation.
For example, you may prove how someone had just dropped you off or that you are waiting for someone to drive you home. In such cases, direct evidence will serve your defense better than circumstantial evidence. For example, a video of another person driving you to the said location may help refute the police's circumstantial evidence.
Never assume that you will go scot-free because the police lack direct evidence of your DUI. Get a DUI lawyer to refute the prosecution's case, including any circumstantial evidence they have.