Understanding the Criminal and Civil Justice Systems

to dismissal at the discretion of the law enforcement agency or prosecutor, or at the direction of the judge. Arrest of the Suspect In order to arrest a person for an impaired driving violation (DUI, DWI, OWI, etc.), a law enforcement officer must have probable cause to believe that all elements of the offense are present. The law enforcement officer must believe that the person in question was operating or in actual physical control of the vehicle while under the influence of alcohol, another drug, or both. In order to convict a person of substance impaired driving, the prosecutor must establish that all elements are present. With regard to “under the influence,” courts have generally held that phrase to mean that the ability to operate a vehicle has been affected or impaired. In cases where a person is injured or dies, the suspect may be arrested immediately for the charge of substance impaired driving and then have the charges amended by the office of the prosecutor and presented to the court at a later date. You should be aware that the suspect may not be formally arrested and charged with a crime for several weeks or longer. Due to laws that protect the innocent (the suspected impaired driver is innocent until proven guilty), a formal arrest may not occur until the evidence to substantiate the charges has been determined and documented. Evidentiary testing by official crime labs is often back-logged, and therefore, it may take weeks or even months to conclude the suspect’s blood test

Made with FlippingBook - Online Brochure Maker