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Independent Blood and Urine Testing in DC DUI Cases

Independent blood and urine testing is a difficult proposition to undertake in a DC DUI case. When a person is arrested and given a blood test, or if they refuse a blood test or urine test, they would immediately, upon release from police custody, get another blood test and urine test to make independent blood and urine testing worthwhile.

When there is a lapse in time from when a person was allegedly driving, the independent blood and urine test has less value. To determine the relevance of independent blood and urine testing in your DC DUI case, consult with an experienced Washington DC DUI attorney as soon as possible.

Pursuing an Independent Blood or Urine Test

There are various vendors that can provide an independent blood or urine test. A DUI defense attorney might suggest a person have an independent blood or urine test after a DC DUI if there is enough time. Also, independent blood or urine testing can be used to show the existence of a disorder that might affect the validity of a test.

However, to get the person’s own blood test or urine test done in time to be relevant, they need to have a lawyer and an independent testing person on retainer and available.

When a blood or urine test is administered by the police, the defense attorney wants to retain an independent expert to test the sample that is taken. It must be done quickly because most of the time, the samples taken by the police are consumed.

Use as Evidence

The person may be able to get the police or the agency testing the sample for the police to agree to retain some of the results for independent testing.

If the person gets a viable result that is helpful, they could call the individual who did the testing as an expert to come into court to talk about the results.

Expert Witnesses

The defense attorney can hire a toxicologist to do the testing. They have the credentials necessary to be able to testify, have experience testifying, experience in their field, have the proper degrees, education, and practical experience.

The attorney could seek to qualify that person as an expert and call them in court to testify.

Additional Evidence

It is important to understand that someone who is charged with a DUI has no obligation to present any evidence. As a result of an attorney’s investigation in this sort of case, other evidence could be discovered that might make sense to present in court.

Evidence such as the existence of an injury that might affect the standardized field sobriety tests may be appropriate. Evidence regarding a medical condition that affects the validity of a breath test such as reflux is another example.

Those are the types of things that make sense to introduce as evidence at trial in a DUI in addition to the results of an independent blood or urine test.

Discovery Process

The discovery process in the District of Columbia related to DUI is the same discovery process that is undertaken in all criminal cases. Rule 16 of the District of Columbia Rules of Criminal Procedure governs discovery in criminal cases and parallels the federal rule.

Rule 16 specifies what the defense is entitled to in the discovery process. That includes reports and records, notice of experts that the government plans to call, a chance to view physical evidence the government plans to introduce, results of scientific tests, and the background information for those tests. There are certain reciprocal obligations with reference information that the defense is required to produce.

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