The Map is Not the Territory

Detailed Investigation Leads to Good Results

In my practice of DWI defense law no two cases are exactly the same. Any lawyer who says well it's just a "garden variety" DWI is sadly mistaken. A successful DWI defense, or any defense for that matter is a question of looking through, or at the details of the day, the driving, the stop, the arrest, and the post arrest police documentation. Events don't take place in a vacuum.

There is always a chronology, and there are "stories." One version of the story will be through the eyes and senses of the arresting officer, another version of the events will be through the eyes of the accused.

I am a big movie fan. I love Robert DeNiro, and when great actors are coupled with amazing dialogue magic happens. In the film Ronin, DeNiro is going over the details of a heist, and as he is going over the map he comments, "the map is not the territory." DeNiro wants his men to canvas the scene, he wants to walk, drive, and feel the target location. In order to completely defend the charges of a DWI an attorney should visit the scene of the FSTs (Field Sobriety Tests), and the arrest area.

How was the road? How was the sidewalk? What were the lighting conditions? What was the weather like? I want to know the type of clothing worn. I want to know the type of shoes worn.
Under what conditions did the accused have to perform these tests? This is the beginning of the raising of reasonable doubts. These things are what I consider potential and possible, common sense reasons besides intoxication for performance which in the Police Officer's estimation
led to an arrest.