suhrelaw | October 10, 2016 | Criminal Law
So you have a medical condition? You think that handing your lawyer 10 pages you printed off the internet or that you received from a hospital or doctor will get your case dismissed? Think again. Most prosecutor’s will not care what is wrong with you more than wondering what kinds of treatment they need to ask the judge for as part of your sentence. Sympathetic prosecutor will actually feel sorry for you that you have this condition, but still have a job to do.
That job is often interpreted as making you an offer after a quick review of the facts of your case and criminal and driving history. Then they have to move on to the other 100 cases they have that day. They are also spending time with the 20 lawyers a day that are telling them how special their client is how the cops messed up the case.
Producing something printed out from a hospital discharge summary that says you have a medical condition is interesting and bolsters your assertion that the condition exists, it is not proof in a court of law. In court we have to deal with rules of evidence. At a minimum the rules for admissibility, relevance, and authentication will apply. This means a good place to start is asking your Dayton OVI lawyer to request a certified copy of your medical history from each physician you treat with. This will cost you several hundred dollars as Ohio law allows doctors to charge for this service. Your lawyer will struggle to get the records in a timely fashion because in the criminal world we are often done with a case in 90-180 days.
Doctors are used to dealing with lawyers on civil cases where they get a year to gather records and the trial does not happen for another year after that. The records should also have a certification page showing they are an accurate copy of the originals, that they were created soon after treatment was done, and kept in the ordinary course of business.
Even if your lawyer gets the records in they will need to be reviewed by your lawyer and maybe an expert. It might surprise you, but records when read as a whole almost always contain information that is unfavorable to the defense theory of your case. Most people are not symptomatic 24/7 so there is also a likelihood that the prosecutor could make an argument that at the time of the arrest the person was not experiencing the medical conditions claimed as a defense.
The records can bolster the assertion that an injury or condition exists. However, we also need to show that at the time of the arrest the person was experiencing something that caused them difficulty while doing the field sobriety tests for example. This will require that the defendant testify to that fact. This can also open up the defendant to cross examination by the state. This can be its own problem if the defendant does not testify well or suffers from extreme anxiety.
Ultimately it would be beneficial to have a medical expert be able to review the records, examine the client, and possibly the state’s evidence and testify or be deposed so that they can give a medical opinion on whether the suspect’s actions were caused by a medical problem not related to consumption of alcohol or drugs.
Talk with your lawyer about any medical conditions and whether it makes sense to incorporate them into the defense theory of your case.