What Could Happen If the Police Poorly Write My Report?
Police reports lay the foundation for any criminal case and are legal documents that only trained police officers can write. The details captured in police reports are crucial, and even the slightest mistake could affect the case outcome. That’s why it’s vital to have a skilled lawyer from a criminal law firm in Colorado when facing criminal charges.
Lawyers have a keen eye for details and can analyze the report to identify inconsistencies and inaccuracies in police reports. They can also evaluate any other document in your case to ensure they capture the correct details.
Since police reports matter, it’s crucial to understand the common mistakes that could increase the charges against you, land you in jail, and ultimately ruin your life for a mistake you didn’t commit. A legal expert takes you through some of them.
Stopping You Without Reasonable Suspicion in a DUI Case
Law enforcement officers can’t just pull people over for the sake of it. The law stipulates that they must have reasonable suspicion that the defendant was committing some crime, for example, driving under the influence. While the standard is much lower than the probable cause required for an arrest, it plays a crucial role in a DUI case.
All the same, it’s important to note that different DUI checkpoints have varying rules, but the officers must have a standardized system of stopping drivers at the checkpoint. They can only stop you if you fit into their randomized system, not based on your look or the model of your car, for example.
Arresting Without a Warrant of Arrest
Police officers cannot arrest someone unless they have reasonable cause to believe the person has committed a crime. Where the arrest happens within an individual’s home, the police must have an arrest warrant, even upon probable cause, unless exigent circumstances exist.
Exigent circumstances are emergencies that require immediate action to prevent danger to lives and property. While the court will rely on the officer’s judgment of difficult circumstances to justify an arrest, it will also consider if other factors were present at the time of the arrest, including the following:
- The involvement of a grave offense, such as physical violence
- The police entered peacefully even if no consent was given
- There was a likelihood that the suspect would escape if not arrested immediately
- There was a clear indication of probable cause
- A strong show that the suspect was on the premises
- The police believed the suspect to be armed
If these credible factors are missing and no consent was given for the arrest, the court could deem the arrest unlawful. The charges associated with the arrest could be dismissed. If you believe you were the victim of an illegal arrest, consult skilled criminal defense lawyers in Colorado. They can investigate the circumstances of your arrest and help you fight the charges.
Using Jargon in the Police Report
If police use unfamiliar words in the report, they could pave the way for confusion and complication in a police case. Complex, difficult-to-understand words could create ambiguities and open room for subjective interpretations, which is the last thing needed in a police report.
Police reports should entail the kind of language that is easy for the average person to understand rather than using the language of professionals, experts, and scholars.
Experienced criminal defense attorneys in Colorado can read through the police report attached to your case to ensure you understand the charges. If the mistake of using jargon arises, they can use that to create a solid defense for you.
Not Securing the Crime Scene
The crime scene is a crucial part of the puzzle in criminal cases as it contains vital evidence that can help the investigating officers identify the perpetrator. Police officers must adequately secure the scene to prevent people and other external materials from tampering or interfering with the evidence. If they fail to do so, the following problems can occur:
- Crucial evidence could be smudged or erased, making it challenging to identify the offender
- New fingerprints, footprints, and hair could be introduced at the scene
- Leaves room for evidence at the location to be tampered with
Once the police secure the crime scene, they then collect many types of evidence to aid in their criminal investigation, such as:
- Gun residue
- Fire accelerants
- Drugs and alcohol
- Skin cells
They should secure the evidence in suitable packages or take photos to prevent problems like loss or contamination. Not doing this could lead to inconclusive or wrong test results, spoiling the chances of proving your innocence. Your Colorado criminal defense lawyers could look into these factors and determine how to argue your case in your defense.
Violating Your Miranda and Other Constitutional Rights
The law requires police officers to give a suspect their Miranda warnings upon arrest and if taken into custody. These include:
- The right to remain silent
- Any statement the suspect makes can be used against them
- The right to an attorney and to have a lawyer appointed if they cannot afford to hire one
Unfortunately, police officers don’t always notify defendants of these constitutional rights when arresting and questioning them. If the police violated your rights during your arrest and questioning, let your lawyer know. They can put up a fight in your favor.
Colorado Springs Defense Attorney Fighting for Your Rights
If you’re facing criminal charges, it helps to be sure that the police used the correct protocol right from stopping, arresting, and questioning you. Errors in the police report could make the charges worse and land you in jail despite being innocent. Hiring a skilled lawyer from a renowned Colorado Springs criminal law firm is your best chance at evaluating police errors.
Our firm provides aggressive criminal defense for clients facing criminal charges. We understand that the experience can be frightening, and we want to give you all the legal support you need. Trust us to investigate the circumstances around the charges and leave no stone unturned in trying to help you beat the charges. Get in touch with us immediately.