Another DWI scandal - why you have to dig deep

Yet another state expert was caught in an apparent lie during a trial last week in Collin County. Christopher Youngkin is an analyst for the Texas Department of Public Safety crime lab. He was involved in 2013 in an incident where he had mistakenly switched blood vials in a DWI case. There error was caught, and the samples were re-tested. Despite what many people think, mistakes do happen, and many times they are caught quickly. That was one of those cases. However, the problem arose in the Collin County case when Youngkin was questioned about whether he  had ever switched vials. He denied that ever happened - a clear lie.

What happned next was extremely remarkable. The judge admonished Youngkin  on his Fifth Amendment right to not incriminate himself. He wisely accepted the advice, and refused to any more questions. What will happen is yet to be known. The trial was recessed, and will resume later.

There's a signficant issue, that could impact all the cases Youngkin has worked on. The error was a signficant one - he had sent a report to police which showed someone  had twice the legal limit of alchol in her blood, when it turned out she had not been drinking at all. That is the type of information that should be disclosed in all future cases, so it could be used to impeach him when he testified. It apparently was not, and the State left it up to the lawyers to discover it on their own. Kudos the the lawyer who did - Troy Burleson.

The failure to disclose to that information could place on the cases he worked on in jeoparday. It will be up the individual defnedants - and their lawyers - to seek relief. The State has apparently already taken the lead, and sent out notices.

This story again points out a couple of things. One is that mistakes can - and will be made in blood testing. The other is that you must thoroughly investigate every case, to find these issues. You aren't going to simply get this information from reading the State's file.

If you have a DWI case you want to discuss with us, give us a call at 254-781-3588, or use the contact form on this website.

 

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