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The importance of attacking chain of custody


As the summer months arrive, Wisconsin police will continue to crack down on drunk driving. As a result, many Wisconsinites may unexpectedly wind up facing DUI charges. This can cause fear and stress, particularly when one considers the potential penalties and the effect they can have on an individual's life. There is a lot at stake when facing drunk driving allegations, which means that those who have been accused of the crime should be fully prepared to mount a competent criminal defense.

One of the best ways to challenge prosecution is to attempt to suppress evidence. There are many ways this can be done, but when it comes to drunk driving it might be helpful to attack the prosecution's chain of custody. Chain of custody refers to the handling and documenting of evidence. In the drunk driving context, this can arise when a blood sample is taken for toxicology purposes.

Typically, in order for a prosecutor to admit toxicology test results, he or she must prove the chain of custody in order to establish that the sample tested is what it claims to be and that it was not tampered with or compromised in any other way. Therefore, if a criminal defense can show that a sample was mishandled, mislabeled, or that a critical link in the chain of custody is missing, such as the initial collector of the specimen, then the evidence may be suppressed and thereby disallowed from being used against the defendant.

However, it is critical to note that evidence can only be suppressed if a defendant objects to the evidence. This means that the defendant needs to know the law and how it applies to their particular situation. Those who would like assistance with this or have questions regarding their criminal defense may want to think about contacting a criminal defense attorney.

Source: FindLaw, "How to Suppress Evidence," accessed on June 11, 2016

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