Your Right to Exculpatory Evidence in DWI Cases

We are lucky to live in a country with the sort of protections we all enjoy. Those protections come primarily from the United States Constitution. There are several protections related to criminal defense in the Constitution such as the right to an attorney, the right against self incrimination, and the right to due process.

The Fourteenth Amendment was passed soon after the Civil War ended. In it, each citizen was given the protection against state action that took property, life, or putting someone in jail without due process of the law. Within the guarantee of due process of law there are a number of different protections that defendants enjoy.

The Brady Rule

One of the great protections that comes out of the due process clause is known in the legal world as the Brady Rule. This rule stands for the general proposition that the prosecution in any case has the constitutional duty to turn over any exculpatory evidence it has to the defense prior to trial. This means that if the prosecution has or can be shown to have any evidence that would tends to show the defendant is innocent, they have to turn it over to the defense.

The merits of this rule are obvious. Prosecutors work for the state and should be in the business of ensuring justice is accomplished, not the conviction of those accused. But too often this is not what happens, and it did not happen in the case that created this rule, Brady v. Maryland.

In that case, a man was accused and convicted of murder and then sentenced to death. Once the case was appealed, it was shown that the prosecution withheld statements from another person who admitted to committing the crime. It was on this fact that the conviction was overturned and the case sent back to trial. Following this ruling, the Brady Rule was established.

How the Brady Rule Applies to DWIs

While the case creating the rule was about murder, you do not have to be charged with murder to benefit from the Brady Rule. There are numerous situations in a DWI case in which the Brady Rule would apply. For example, if the prosecution had data and knew about problems with ithe testing equipment used to test blood samples, that would be exculpatory and a prosecution would be obligated to turn it over.

In a perfect world, the Brady Rule would work without any need to compel it, but that is not the world we live it. Only the right DWI defense team can ensure that a defendant’s rights are protected and all the information due to under the Brady Rule is turned over, or if it is not, that the judge makes the correct ruling to make it right.

Your DWI Defense Team

At The Wilder DWI Defense Firm our DWI defense team knows the intricacies of the Brady Rule inside and out. We comb through the information and applicable law of every case we take on, and we ensure that each and every constitutional protection you are entitled to is extended. If you are facing DWI charges in the Dallas area, contact us today.