In any trial, a lawyer worth her salt wants to avoid uncertainty regarding the testimony that will come out at trial. Helpful or hurtful as the testimony may be, knowing what an officer is going to say from the witness stand is critical to assessing the chances of success at trial and effectively defending a client charged with DWI. In this episode learn the value of the officer’s report and how to lock the officer into the observations noted in his field notes and the written report. As the Basic Law Enforcement Training Manuel notes: “If it isn’t written down, it didn’t happen.”
Uncover the references in the NHTSA Participant Manual and BLET Student Manual conveying the importance to officers of clear, complete, and accurate report writing.
Discover the simple string of questions that will lock the officer into the four corners of their report during cross-examination.
Understand the difference between field notes (often jotted down at the roadside) and the final written report of the officer and how both are emphasized as necessary during officer training.
Learn the three forms of communication the State uses to convey the narrative of what occurred during a DWI investigation and how these three narratives interplay and may contradict one another.