DUI and Impeaching the Officer's Testimony

By Andrew Mishlove on March 16, 2019


Driver pulled over for OWI/DUIJust because you were charged with drunk driving doesn’t mean your rights were respected or properly observed. The Wisconsin attorneys of Mishlove & Stuckert, LLC have helped numerous people with operating while intoxicated (OWI)/driving under the influence (DUI) legal defense. Our goal is to make sure you are treated fairly and lawfully, and receive the robust defense guaranteed to you by the Constitution.

If your Obi case goes to trial, our legal team has numerous strategies that can help convince the jury of your innocence, or raise doubts regarding the nature of your charges. This may involve impeaching the testimony of the arresting officer. This has many facets, which we will explain below.

What Does It Mean to Impeach Testimony?

In basic terms, impeaching the testimony of an officer means calling the credibility or trustworthiness of the officer into question. That officer may be there testifying against you, recounting the traffic stop and what transpired.

When cross-examining the officer, our attorneys will ask tough, pointed, and important questions that may call the officer’s testimony into question. In such cases, a jury may be more likely to rule in your favor.

Dealing with Subjective Testimony

Remember that all witness testimony is subjective. While sharing an opinion of an incident that occurred, only part of the story is being told. When cross-examining a witness such as the arresting officer, our aim is to make sure the incident is viewed from multiple angles and that all of the facts are put out there to be decided in court.

Noting Inconsistent or Contradictory Statements

If a police officer provides inconsistent or contradictory statements about what happened during a traffic stop, we will be sure to bring up these matters in court. When the details of your case are inaccurate or presented in different ways, it can call your drunk driving arrest into question.

Questioning the Officer’s Motivation to Testify

A police officer may have ulterior motives to appearing in court to testify in an OWI case. We may ask if the officer is earning overtime to appear in court, or if they have any vested interests in appearing and offering testimony. This may cast some doubt on the nature of the police officer’s story.

Raising Issues with the Officer’s Character

In addition to questioning an officer’s motives, a strong defense strategy may also involve raising issues about the officer’s character. This may involve anything from brining up a history of false arrests, evidence of bigotry that may have played a role in your arrest (e.g., racism, sexism), or even a personal grudge. These are important to note so the jury can make a fair decision.

Contrasting Your Behavior with Worse Behavior

In addition to all of the above, OWI attorneys may also try to contrast your own behavior with worse behavior. If the police officer notes you slipped during a field sobriety test, we may note that you did not fall. This subtle strategy gives the jury a sense of the egregiousness of your case.

Fair But Firm Cross-Examination

Again, our goal is to offer each of our clients the lawful and robust defense they are entitled to receive. We will be fair but firm, and will work diligently to provide sound legal representation.

Learn More About OWI Defense Options

To learn more about your legal rights and options after a drunk driving arrest, be sure to contact our experienced drunk driving and OWI defense attorneys. The lawyers of Mishlove & Stuckert, LLC are here to help. You can reach our Milwaukee office by phone at (414) 206-6912, our Oshkosh office at (920) 212-7248, our West Bend office at (262) 239-4499, and our Waukesha office at (262) 330-1733.

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