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Tying The Officer Down to His Report
Welcome back to the DUI Trial Warriors Academy. This podcast is brought to you by Silvaandsilvalaw.com. Great lawyers, helping great people. And now for your host, a sought after speaker avid mountain bike racer, and renowned DUI trial lawyer, Patrick Silva.
Welcome back to the DUI Trial Lawyers Academy. This is your host, DUI trial lawyer attorney Patrick Silva. In today's podcast, we're going to be discussing what I call "tying the officer down to his report". You might be wondering, "Well, why is it important? Why should I go through these 10 questions?"
As you're going to see the 10 plus questions that we go through, it's important, because it's going to allow you to go back and either admit portions of the report into evidence, use it for impeachment, refreshing memory, et cetera. Let's go through some of the basic questions when we're trying to tie the officer down to his report.
"Officer Jones, did you have a chance to review your report before your testimony here today? Officer Jones, did you have a chance to review any audio or videotapes before your testimony here today? Officer Jones, did you have a chance to review any notes you took before your testimony here today?" Under these three basic questions what we're trying to establish is, what did the officer used before his testimony? The reason is why. Why, is because anything that he used prior to his testimony is going to be discoverable. And, if you're in California under Evidence Code 771, you're going to be able to get portions of that into evidence. That's why those three basic questions are important.
"Officer Jones, did you have ample opportunity to put every significant fact into the report? Why is that question important?" Because, a significant fact is something that the prosecution is going to rely upon in order to try and win their case. What you don't want to do is have the officer get on the stand and say, "Well, I didn't put that in, I didn't think that was important, but I'm telling you here today, so believe me here today."
What you want to establish that, if it's important, if it's a something that the prosecution needs to prove their case, then, "Officer Jones, you should have put that in your report, isn't that true?" Then we'll follow it up with another question.
"Well, Officer Jones, is it your custom and practice to put every significant fact into the report?" That just cleaning it up, clarifying again, and then we're going to not leave them an out, but we're going to go ahead and say, "Well, Officer Jones, are there any errors or mistakes in your report that you want to clean up today before your testimony?"
Why is that important? Because through the looping process, when he says something, "Well, I didn't put that in the report because wasn't relevant," or, "I didn't think it needs to be there," or, "I just forgot." And then, you could come back with, "Well, didn't you just testify for Officer Jones that there weren't any errors or mistakes and isn't an omission a mistake, if it's important?"
And then we finish it off with, "Officer Jones, is there anything that's preventing you from giving your best testimony here today?"
Thank you for listening to this short but sweet podcast on tying the officer down to his report. This is DUI trial lawyer attorney Patrick Silva. Put on the boxing gloves, climb into the ring, and have a great battle. Over and out.
Thank you for listening to the DUI Trial Lawyers Podcast. This episode brought to you by Silvaandsilvalaw.com.
Patrick J. Silva - Attorney at Law
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