Independent Blood Testing in Fredericksburg DUI Cases
When one is initially arrested for DUI, it is common to be subjected to a breathalyzer test. In some circumstances, an individual may find themselves subjected to blood testing as well. Blood tests can corroborate whether the person was within the legal limit or not. However what many people do not know is that they are allowed to request independent blood testing, which can be especially useful if they believe something was wrong with the initial sample. If you have questions about independent blood testing or want to pursue an independent blood test, consult with a capable DUI attorney who can walk you through the process.
What it Means to Do Independent Blood and Urine Testing
If an individual’s blood is taken pursuant to an implied consent blood search for testing, they or may not know that they have the right to have that sample tested independently. When someone’s blood is taken to the hospital, there are actually two vials that are taken; one is taken and delivered to the Department of Forensic Science and the other one is preserved for independent blood testing.
There are numerous independent labs that use these tests throughout the Commonwealth and the most common lab is the Firm Lab at the Virginia Commonwealth University or VCU. An attorney can request that the court order a second sample of the blood to be tested and filed by an independent laboratory. The defense can choose any private lab, but they should be accredited to conduct the independent lab test.
There is a motion form that can be submitted to the local general district court or circuit court in a case and they must be filed within 90 days of their arrest. Lawyers often will wait for a period of time to see that the initial lab result is back but what is important to remember is that they only have 90 days to get the lab tests filed.
Benefits of Independent Testing
There are a lot of different reasons why a lawyer would want to consider having independent lab tests for a DUI done. Independent lab testing is also important if the attorney has reason to believe that the proper procedures were not followed and that the first test may be contaminated.
If properly authenticated and appropriately accredited at the laboratory, there is a procedural instrument or a procedural path for this independent lab test to be admissible evidence. An experienced DUI attorney knows the Code Section and knows the administrative law procedures and can properly take an independent blood sample on the path towards admissibility.
Bringing Toxicologists in As Witnesses
Depending on the circumstances and whether or not an individual takes the tests as a lay witness or an expert witness, an independent toxicologist may be brought in to assert what the results of their testing were or this independent toxicologist may be used to alter, refute, or question the result of the initial Department of Forensic Science expert if a blood test was done.
There are a variety of circumstances in which these experts may clash in their testing methods, specifically how alcohol is measured in the blood, how assessment or methods were used, and what are considered the most accurate and how they are performed.
There are a variety of circumstances under which a person may want to have an expert especially if their case is very close to the legal limit; they may believe the results of that lab tests are inconsistent with some of the perceived behavior or with their recollection of their alcohol consumption and, certainly, if they believe that the only thing that is keeping them from a better result is a bad lab test.
Additional Evidence a DUI Attorney Might Need
There is a variety of information that DUI attorneys want to use for their case in addition to independent lab testing. They may want to have third party video especially if the stop occurred somewhere like a shopping center’s parking lot or near a home or near a business that has a security camera. These are a couple of examples of places where independent video can be beneficial as well. There are a lot of instances in which independent knowledge would be desired in addition to things like dash cams, body cams, officer statements, or things of that nature.
How a Lawyer Can Help
If you believe there may have been something wrong with your blood sample, or you want to verify whether or not your blood alcohol content was within the legal limit, you should pursue independent blood testing. An experienced DUI lawyer can walk you through the process of getting your blood tested independently and can use the results when building your case.