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Police using pre-written arrest reports in San Diego DUI cases

by | Jan 29, 2014 | DUI Cases |

An increasing number of police officers are using pre-written arrest reports in drunk driving cases. In other words, they are writing out a batch of phony reports — including driving symptoms, slurred speech, failed field sobriety tests, admissions of drinking — and then just filling in the names, dates, etc., when they actually make an arrest.

In this computer age, however, this practice is commonly abbreviated even further by using computer templates: word processing forms which have all of the “facts” already entered, with blanks to fill in for name, date, etc.

I must say it is a system I have used when writing generic legal motions.  However, cut and pasting a general rule of law is a world of difference than an officer’s duty to write an accurate report of factual  evidence.  It must be accurate.  A prosecutor will issue charges and set punishment based on the report.  The report is what the prosecution will base their case until the case is far along in the process (sometimes they do not find out the actual facts until the eve of trial).  The report needs to be accurate to the facts, especially very detailed facts which make or break a San Diego DUI case.

I write this because I have read two clients police reports in a week and they look identical (I will give a shout out to Encinitas).

Saves a lot of time.

None of this comes as any surprise to experienced San Diego DUI attorneys, who are used to reviewing reports.  I also saw this as a prosecutor.  As much as it is understood that this is a normal practice no one has been charged with perjury. There is a law on the books specific to the act in California Penal Code 118.1, the section making it a crime for police officers to file reports with deliberately false information.  It is essential for a San Diego DUI attorney to go over the report with the client to determine what really happened that night.  It is also necessary to query the officer in determining how accurate the report is.  If not, San Diego citizens can be a victim of cut and pasting.  I understand why it happens….and it needs to ensure it does not happen to you.

Penal Code 118.1- Penalty of Perjury

118.1. Every peace officer who files any report with the agency which employs him or her regarding the commission of any crime or any investigation of any crime, if he or she knowingly and intentionally makes any statement regarding any material matter in the report which the officer knows to be false, whether or not the statement is certified or otherwise expressly reported as true, is guilty of filing a false report punishable by imprisonment in the county jail for up to one year, or in the state prison for one, two, or three years. This section shall not apply to the contents of any statement which the peace officer attributes in the report to any other person.

Hire a Proactive, affordable, and quality defense when you are facing San Diego DUI charges. Whether you have been charged of a San Diego DUI, Poway DUI, La Mesa DUI, Santee DUI, Mission Valley DUI, Clairemont DUI, Point Loma DUI, La Jolla DUI, Carmel Valley DUI, Mira Mesa DUI, Pacific Beach DUI, Del Mar DUI, Carmel Valley DUI, Encinitas DUI, Oceanside DUI, Ocean Beach DUI, Escondido DUI, Vista DUI, San Marcos DUI, Carlsbad DUI, El Cajon DUI it is vital you need to hire an attorney who knows how to defend your rights and can determine if the government can prove their case. Contact the Law Office of Mark Deniz now for a free case evaluation at 858-751-4384 or send an email to [email protected]

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