Increasingly, scrutiny and attention is being paid to the criminal justice system that continues to convict and sentence offenders across the country. Nowhere is this scrutiny more on display than what recently happened in North Carolina involving a particular police officer and over 100 DWI cases.
According to reports, a police officer in North Carolina with more 15 years on the force was found to have lied on reports and on the stand in several DWI cases. This was disturbing for a number of reasons, not the least of which is the black eye it gives state credibility in that area.
In the case reported to have tipped the scale, the officer in question arrested a woman for DWI and took her to a holding facility. There, the officer asked her to submit to a breath test to measure the level of alcohol in her blood. Under that state’s law, a person has the right to refuse a test or have a witness or attorney present for its administration. This woman asked for a witness to be present, but the police officer marked her down as refusing a test.
While it may have been routine work for this police officer, making a simple mark of refusing to take a test had serious ramifications for this woman. She would lose her license and face more penalties for DWI than in a typical case. Later on, reports indicated this police office mischaracterized what happened in DWI cases in this and other instances.
As a result this activity, the prosecutor in the area made the decision to dismiss over 100 DWI cases involving this particular officer. This a stunning and nearly unprecedented move, but really the right thing to do. Attorneys are bound something known in our business as the code of ethics. Each state has its own rules of professional conduct that mandates certain behavior from lawyers. One of those rules is the obligation attorneys have to prevent misrepresentations of the truth in court.
If these case were allowed to stand on what could be misleading evidence, that attorney arguably would be running afoul of the professional ethical guidelines. This is in addition to the negative effect this story would have in any trial that happened which involved this officer. Candor before the courts is one of the cornerstones of a fair and properly working justice system, and it seems to have been protected here.
Arrested for DWI in Dallas Area
At the Wilder DWI Defense Firm, our focus is helping those charged with DWI fight the charges against them. We understand that the nature of DWI cases can make a defense difficult, but do not allow that to dissuade you from protecting and defending your rights. As this story exemplifies, adherence to a process is key to maintaining a truthful justice system. When abuses are detected, we will be there to ensure that you get the best defense possible. Contact us so we can give you a free case evaluation today.