A Sacramento police officer, Brandon Mullock, is accused of falsifying information on 79 DUI police reports. In some of these cases, the State has already obtained a conviction. The fabrication of the officer was discovered when a prosecutor noticed that the police dashcam differed substantially from the written police report of the officer.
DUI charges in Massachusetts, and throughout the country, are based primarily on the opinion of the arresting officer. In many Massachusetts DUI arrests, the police officer testifies to subjective factors that the officer claims shows an individual is under the influence. These factors include that the officer claims that the motorist was unsteady getting out of the car, spoke with slurred speech or had difficulty retrieving his or her license. Additionally, when an officer administers a field sobriety test, like the nine step walk and turn, the difference between an officer claiming that the defendant passed or failed is based on small details. Many officers will testify that they are unaware that missing heel to toe is a clue on the test only if there is more than a two inch gap. It is easy for an officer to claim on the report that the defendant failed to touch heel to toe either through not knowing how the test is scored or through embellishing to justify an arrest.
At an OUI trial in Massachusetts, cross examination can demonstrate that an officer overstated, embellished or exaggerated in the police report. The fact that so much of the evidence is opinion based evidence, which can be distorted, fabricated and misinterpreted by the officer demonstrates the importance of hiring an experienced Massachusetts OUI lawyer.
In Massachusetts, a defendant can challenge the basis for the stop at a motion to suppress which would require the officer to testify in court and can challenge the officer’s opinion at trial. These opportunities to confront witnesses granted by the Sixth Amendment to the United States Constitution are the only way that a motorist can challenge the opinion of the arresting officer.
In California, the corrupt police officer was discovered as a result of a prosecutor comparing the dashcam to the written police report. In Massachusetts, police departments vary as to whether they have any dashcam or even booking video. As a Massachusetts criminal defense lawyer, I have argued that a lack of video taped evidence should be held against the Commonwealth at trial and support reasonable doubt. Yet in many cases, there will be no video evidence to contradict the officer; the only way to challenge the officer’s opinion will be through cross examination at trial by a skilled Massachusetts DUI trial attorney.
With office in Attleboro and Stoughton, Attorney DelSignore defends DUI arrests in Massachusetts throughout Bristol and Norfolk Counties. If you were arrested for DUI, call for a free consultation to discuss your case. 79 individuals were charged with DUI in California by a dishonest officer. While officers that deliberately lie to justify arrests are rare, a DUI charge is typically based on opinion testimony and that testimony can be challenged on a number of grounds. Call for a free consultation, 508-455-4755 or 781-686-5924 or send an email. Most calls an emails are answered immediately.