DUI Accident Reconstruction - California DUI Law and Legal Information
California driving under the influence (DUI) cases involving accident, injury, or death requires a sophisticated defense strategy. A California DUI defense attorney who specializes in DUI accident cases must use an independent expert to recreate the events immediately preceding the accident and unearth evidence which may be favorable to the person arrested and accused of driving under the influence (DUI) in order to prevent a serious felony DUI or misdemeanor DUI conviction.
Notably, thousands of accidents occur throughout the California every day. Most are caused by the failure of people, motor vehicles, to behave or react as expected. Some occur because of faulty highway or roadway design. Others are caused by poor signage or lighting.
If the accident occurs after the motorist has consumed an alcoholic beverage, the California Highway Patrol or local police officer will usually conclude the accident was caused by the fact that the driver had been driving under the influence (DUI) or diving with a blood or breath alcohol level at or above the legal limit (DUI).
Accident investigations are intended to determine how and why accidents occur. However, the California Highway Patrol or local police officers are not without bias. Police reports and diagrams may reveal points of impact and other key factors. However, police reports may tell only one side or an incomplete version of the events. By using the information gained through an independent accident investigation, and exposing the weaknesses and possible bias of a police accident investigation following a DUI arrest it is possible to secure a better result for a person accused of driving under the influence (DUI) or driving with a blood or breath alcohol level at or above the legal limit (DUI).
The main objective of an accident reconstructionist (which is a highly trained accident investigator) is to recreate the events leading up to the accident and the circumstances of the collision itself, thereby determining whether the crash could have been avoided. If the accident could not have been avoided, then drinking prior to the accident or even driving under the influence (DUI) or with a blood alcohol level at or above the legal limit (DUI) cannot be said to have caused the collision.
It's essential for the lawyer and the accident reconstructionist to examine the accident scene and the vehicles involved in the accident as quickly as possible. Skid marks and other crucial evidence begin to disappear immediately after the accident occurred. An experienced accident investigator and reconstructionist will take photographs of the vehicles and the crash scene and preserve any evidence which may have been overlooked by California Highway Patrol or local police officer and that may be helpful to the defense. Measurements of the accident scene also will help reconstruct the circumstances of the collision.
Also, an experienced accident reconstructionist will study every detail, including weather conditions, road conditions, traffic patterns, lighting, etc. Skid marks are especially telling because they show whether drivers reacted to imminent danger or were unaware of the impending accident. Scuff marks on vehicles also can reveal a great deal of information about the dynamics of the collision.
Additionally, an accident investigator or reconstructionist will carefully examine the vehicles involved and explore whether there have been any safety recalls that contributed to the crash. Examining the vehicles' headlights, brake lights, and other equipment will establish whether the vehicles' safety features were functioning properly at the time of the accident. Additionally, it is important to examine any traffic signal devices to determine whether they were functioning properly and were visible at the time of the accident.
The importance of an independent accident reconstruction when defending a DUI case involving accident, injury or death cannot be overemphasized. Police and prosecutors will gather every shred of evidence that points to the DUI defendant's guilt. An independent expert may locate and gather overlooked evidence that pointing to the driverís innocence. A California criminal defense attorney with experience defending DUI cases will use an experienced accident reconstructionist to uncover evidence that aids in a driver's defense.
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