Here is the scenario, you are pulled over by a sheriff’s deputy for speeding or “weaving” or some other infraction. Once contacted the deputy smells alcohol and starts a DUI investigation, field sobriety tests may or may not be given. All of a sudden the CHP shows up and the deputy talks to him then leaves. later you are run through a battery of tests, given a portable breath machine to blow onto and arrested. what just happened?
This situation is what is called a “CHP turnover” and is quite common in Kern County according to DUI Attorney Bruce Blythe. The sheriff’s department does not like doing drunk driving arrests inasmuch as they are not as well-trained in the current DWI investigation techniques and, perhaps most importantly, they do not get paid as well as the CHP officers when it comes to testifying at DMV hearings and Court proceedings. Therefore, there seems to be an unwritten policy to “turn over” all driving under the influence cases to the CHO whenever possible.
What impact does this have on your case? Well, for the most part it does not affect the nuts and bolts of the state’s case. you see, the laws allow for a police officer to transfer a case to another officer to complete or finish an investigation. As fas as DUI”s in Kern County, it is commonplace and very rarely does a DWI case get handled from start to finish by a KCSD. There are two possible issues that can benefit someone who has been arrested during a turnover scenario. One, there is always a chance that if the case gets litigated in Court that the initial deputy may not be available to testify. in criminal cases the accused has a right to confront and cross-examine the accuser and so the cop must be present. If he or she does not show the case could be dismissed. Second, anytime there is more than one witness it is possible that the chances of raising a reasonable doubt to a jury could increase. On the other hand, two witnesses to the same event could hurt the case.
In the end, the difference between a turnover DUI and a non-turnover could be very minimal.