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In Virginia, when someone has a blood draw in order to determine their blood alcohol content, it is going to be tested by the Virginia Department of Forensic Science who will then generate a certificate of analysis showing what the content was for that sample. A person does have the right, however, to ask that a portion of that sample that has been held back be transferred to an independent laboratory to be tested a second time.
When you get pulled over and have to take a blood test call an experienced Virginia DUI lawyer. When you call a Virginia DUI lawyer they can help you understand the process and your rights throughout the process.
The blood test is going to be administered by a medical personnel who is authorized to do it under Virginia law. That is going to be done under the supervision of a police officer who watches the entire process. Once the sample is collected, it is sealed back in the box and transferred by the police officer to the Department of Forensic Science for testing.
The main circumstance where an independent blood test will be suggested is where there is either a high level of blood alcohol that does not seem consistent with the behavior of the defendant or in any case where there is any substantial question in the mind of the attorney or the defendant as to whether the blood alcohol on the certificate of analysis may be accurate given all of the other facts and circumstances.
The results of an independent blood test can always be used as evidence in court by an attorney. Just as the government has the ability to bring forth its test results to try to show what the blood alcohol content of the accused was, so too the defendant has the right to use the results of the independent analysis to refute the government’s evidence and to try to create reasonable doubt in their case.
In any case in which an independent test is done, it is possible to bring the person who did the tests in to testify as an expert. In fact, in many cases, it will be necessary to have that person to testify as a witness in court on behalf of a Virginia attorney, in order for the court to be able to receive that independent test as evidence at trial.
There is a whole universe of evidence that is pertinent and relevant in a DUI case. In addition to what there is on the scientific end of it in terms of certificates of analysis and blood alcohol content, this is going to include everything from video that may have been captured by police during the stop, to the police reports that are generated by the officer, to the recollection of the defendant themselves and any witnesses that may have information about their case.
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