Maryland DUI lawyers often hear their clients claim that the prosecution has no evidence against them. While being confident is a wonderful thing, assuming that the prosecution has no evidence against you is naïve, and only shows that you do not know what exact evidence they have on you until they absolutely have to share it with you.
It is important to be aware that there are two different types of evidence in a DUI case: direct evidence and circumstantial evidence.
St. Mary’s, Maryland DUI attorneys define direct evidence as any information that proves a fact beyond doubt without the need to interpretation or reasoning. For instance, an eye witness who saw a drunk driver clearly inebriated and showing symptoms of inebriation may testify in court. This is considered direct evidence for the most part. Other examples of direct evidence include breath test results, blood test results, urine test results, and field sobriety test results, to name a few.
In conclusion, when a person see’s water drops falling out of the sky, it is direct evidence that it is raining. There is no requirement to interpret or argue about what the evidence points towards, it is pretty direct.
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Circumstantial evidence is a little more complicated and it does require interpretation and reasoning to a certain extent to prove its point. This is where a Maryland DUI defense lawyer will prove to be invaluable for a defendant. These legal representatives are professionals and know exactly how to invalidate such evidence thanks to their brilliant reasoning and debating skills.
In fact, charismatic and sharp DUI lawyers are well versed with direct evidence where they are sometimes able to disprove direct evidence. In some cases, legal professionals argue that results obtained from breathalyzers are not accurate and that it is scientifically proven that these machines actually calculate breath alcohol and not blood alcohol. In other cases, they are able to determine flaws made during the arrest or during field sobriety testing and get the case dismissed even though there exists plenty of direct evidence.
Going back to circumstantial evidence, it is evidence where reasoning and common sense will need to be applied to the circumstances provided. So for instance if a person wakes up one morning and notices that the roads are wet, this is circumstantial evidence that it rained overnight.
Is circumstantial evidence sufficient to convict a DUI suspect?
According to Maryland DUI lawyers the answer to that question is in the affirmative. Circumstantial evidence is alone sufficient to prove a DUI case and send the suspect to prison. In most DUI cases where chemical testing results are not available, the prosecution uses circumstantial evidence alone.
To prove their point, prosecutors will use evidence such as reckless driving, smell of alcohol on the suspect’s person during arrest, signs of inebriation, inability to pass field sobriety tests, and even if the suspect refused to take any sobriety tests – that fact alone also serves as circumstantial evidence. Therefore, the law in most states allow for a DUI case to be concluded without any direct evidence.