How does an officer know if someone is intoxicated? If they are assessing
them based on outward signs how long does it take before they can come
to an accurate conclusion? In the state of California that question is
answered with 15 minutes and this is the minimum time that an officer
should be inspecting a suspect before they are able to more accurately
determine if they are in fact under the influence. During the 15 minutes,
the individual will be unable to eat, drink or smoke since this can influence
test results. This time frame can allow them to note certain signs in
an individual or issue that can influence the results of a test.
While juries are not always going to toss out the results of a field sobriety
test due to a lack of adhering to the 15 minute period, it may be taken
into consideration in a case. If it can be proven that an officer did
not adequately investigate the individual or review them for enough time,
it may be enough to sway the final decision. It may also influence the
case if it can be shown that the officer did not really assess the individual
during the time frame but was doing other things such as filling out paperwork
of having the suspect ride in the back seat where they were unable to
see them. This can show that they did not fully follow procedure and a
skilled attorney may understand how to use this to strengthen a case.
Unfortunately, this standard of adequate observation is not always followed
and many people are wrongfully accused. To make sure that you are given
a fair trial and that your rights are defended, contact Pasadena criminal
Matthew Cargal. Don't wait to
set up a free consultation immediately.