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Suppressing evidence by challenging the chain of custody

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Louisianans who are facing DUI charges have a lot to think about. They may be overwhelmed by the mere thought of the potential penalties they may face, which might include a significant period of incarceration, a large fine, license suspension, license revocation, and damage to their personal and professional reputation. Accused individuals shouldn't let what might happen paralyze them into inaction. Instead, they need to do everything they can to put forth the best criminal defense they can in hopes of obtaining an acquittal.

Even when the deck seems stacked against an individual accused of drunk driving and the evidence seems insurmountable, there may be legal strategies available to help them beat the charges they face. One of the best ways to do this is to try to suppress invalid evidence. The rules of evidence are very strict, and those who fail to adhere to them may be disallowed from using certain evidence.

For example, in a drunk driving case where a blood test was conducted to determine intoxication, a defendant may be able to challenge the chain of custody. The chain of custody is the procedure and documentation of where evidence is and who handles it, from the time of initial seizure to the time it is presented to the court. If there is a major gap in the chain of custody, then a defendant may be able to draw the test's validity into question. In these instances, a judge may rule that the evidence is inadmissible and cannot be used against the defendant.

Challenging the chain of custody is just one way to try to suppress evidence. Knowing this and other evidentiary tactics can be key to securing a favorable outcome when facing DUI charges. Those accused of drunk driving may therefore want to discuss the matter with an attorney of their choosing.

Source: FindLaw, "How to Suppress Evidence," accessed on Oct. 30, 2016

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Craig E. Gibbs, Attorney at Law
4650 General DeGaulle Drive, Suite 216
New Orleans, LA 70131

Fax: 844-246-0278
New Orleans Criminal Law Office