A DUI Lawyer You Can Trust

I explain to every client who walks into my office that there are ways to fight DUI cases but you have to hire an expert. An expert who is trained and educated in the operations of forensic laboratories will often find that the blood or breath test results in DUI cases do not produce reliable results. In several of my cases, a chemist who is a nationally known laboratory auditor uncovered serious operational flaws in two specific cases involving the Allegheny County Medical Examiner’s Office.

Creating Pennsylvania DUI Resources

My expertise goes beyond being a DUI lawyer. I wrote the book on PA DUI law, and I understand both sides of a court case. I’m writing this blog to help people like you get the information they need to make good decisions about DUI defense.

What follows will be a series of blog postings about the laboratory at the Allegheny County Medical Examiner’s Office and the errors that often take place in the testing process. Some are systemic. Others are case specific. One thing is clear: these errors seem to be producing unreliable lab results that often end up costing motorists their jobs, their future, and even their families.

Talk to a DUI Lawyer Today

Please check back weekly for updates. If you want your DUI case reviewed by an attorney with over 25 years’ experience and who co-authors a Pennsylvania textbook on DUI law, contact me — former PA State Police Attorney Mike Sherman — at (412) 471-5000 or by e-mail at mike@mikeshermanlaw.com.

I’m a DUI lawyer you can trust.

DUI Testing in Pennsylvania

The Truth Should Set You Free

If you get pulled over, the officer will probably ask you to get out of the car and do some coordination exercises. Field sobriety tests are tough, and they’re the first step in the DUI testing process. You don’t get to practice, and if you are overweight, you don’t stand a chance. But you know how much you drank and feel that you should pass.

The next thing you know, you are getting handcuffed and taken for a blood test. While you are extremely nervous and anxious, you start to feel confident because you think the blood alcohol test will prove you’re not impaired. You feel the blood result will be the absolute truth and the truth will set you free. The problem is that forensic blood testing, if not done properly, is fraught with error.

DUI Testing is a Flawed Process

It is scary the number of laboratory scandals that are being brought to the attention of the public. As more attorneys are becoming educated about the science surrounding the testing of alcohol and drugs, the labs are no longer being given a “free pass.” Some labs are committing fraud during the testing process. Other labs are just lazy or have no idea of what should be involved in modern forensic DUI testing.

It is our opinion, based on a review of the procedures and maintenance history at the Allegheny County Medical Examiner’s lab, that the Pennsylvania DUI testing process is severely flawed. At risk are innocent people who may be convicted of DUI charges based on testing procedures at the lab that do not produce reliable results. I’ve even seen it happen. In several of my cases, a chemist who is a nationally known laboratory auditor uncovered serious operational flaws in two specific cases involving the Allegheny County Medical Examiner’s Office.

You have options for DUI Defense

There are lots of ways to fight DUI cases, but you have to hire an expert who is trained and educated about forensic laboratories and all kinds of DUI testing. It may be true that the truth will set you free, but you’ll need help building your case.  If you want to talk to an attorney who can look into the science being used against you, give former PA State Police attorney Mike Sherman Law a call. At Mike Sherman Law, we understand laboratory testing, we take DUI defense seriously, and we care what happens in your case.

A DUI Stop can happen to anyone

The scene is all too familiar: you go out for a couple of drinks. Maybe you stopped on the way home from work to celebrate closing that big business deal. Maybe you were at a wedding where you only had a couple of drinks so your spouse or date could drink. Maybe you went “out on the town” with your buddies but you really didn’t drink much because you were the designated driver.

You even stopped for pizza before getting on the road just so enough time passed before you got behind the wheel. You felt fine. You started driving and were driving fine. But it’s 2:00 a.m. on a Friday, so you are a moving target. All of a sudden the lights go on and you find yourself getting pulled over by the police.

You think to yourself, “what did I do wrong? I know I’m not drunk. I feel fine.” The officer comes up to your window and asks, “How much have you been drinking?” You tell him the truth. The officer is on a roving DUI patrol and he’s out hunting DUI drivers, and he says, “Really, how much have you had to drink?” You’re feeling helpless, confused, overwhelmed, and frightened.

PA DUI Defense

When you’re in a dui stop situation, the best thing you can do is get someone on your side who knows all about PA DUI law. Court cases are scary and complicated, and you don’t have to rely on your own knowledge and resources to build a great DUI defense. For a free consultation about your case, and to find out what options you have now, call former PA State Police attorney Mike Sherman. At Mike Sherman Law, we deal with DUI charges every single day, and we go to court to fight for our clients.

Be Prepared this Holiday Season!

It’s not just football, stuffing, and mashed potatoes that come with the Turkey every Thanksgiving. Often, a lot of cocktails are being served as well. You can almost bet your house that this holiday weekend you will drive through a DUI Checkpoint.

Be prepared for DUI Checkpoints!

With the Thanksgiving holiday approaching, DUI Checkpoints will be everywhere. Be prepared!

If you go out this Thanksgiving weekend, do yourself a favor. Take a few minutes to plan for getting home. And while you’re at it, line up a backup plan, too.

Consider your many options
• Drink at a place within walking distance from your home.
• Arrange for a cab.
• Make plans to take a bus or other form of public transportation.
• Pick a designated driver.
• Ask a friend or family member to pick you up.
• Stay over at the place you are drinking or stay someplace nearby like a hotel or friend’s house.

Planning is Key

Never assume that you won’t drink enough to have to worry about who’s driving. Getting together with family and friends during the holidays in a “party” atmosphere is a natural recipe for the unexpected. Always be prepared!

There’s nothing wrong with bringing the party to your house this holiday season. Just make sure you have room for your friends to stay over if they have too much to drink. Or, make sure they have a safe way home.

No plan is surprise-proof

Even when you make plans for a ride ahead of time, surprises happen. Be prepared! Parties end earlier than expected. Your ride may leave you behind. No plan is foolproof so have a backup plan. If you are not prepared, you might end up with a DUI. A DUI can ruin your life, cost you your job, and even put you behind bars. Make sure you wake up this holiday weekend in your own bed and not in some dirty jail cell.

Don’t go it alone. If you get a DUI, be prepared! Former Pennsylvania State Police attorney Mike Sherman has been practicing DUI law for twenty-five years. He knows both sides of the law – the prosecution and the defense. We can help you make the best out of a bad situation. When your life hangs in the balance, Mike Sherman is prepared! To approach your DUI charge from the strongest position, call Mike Sherman. You’ll be thankful you did.

PA Blood Alcohol Testing

In almost every DUI case, the motorist is asked to take a chemical test of his blood, breath, or urine. The courts often view chemical test evidence as “scientific” and really don’t look at how the results were reached. Often, attorneys do not even look at how their client’s chemical test results were reached. This is important in DUI defense because forensic testing for blood alcohol results is fraught with error.

Blood Alcohol Testing results can be used in Court

Typically, prosecutors call a witness from the crime lab to appear in court and testify that a motorist’s blood alcohol content was a certain level, and that that level was over the legal limit. It is very rare for the actual analyst who did the testing to appear in court and testify. Recently, the United States Supreme Court ruled (in Bullcoming v. New Mexico) that the defendant has a right to confront the actual person who tested the blood. In the Bullcoming case, the motorist was charged with DUI. At trial, the prosecutor did not call as a witness the analyst who actually tested the defendant’s blood; instead, he called an analyst from the lab that was familiar with testing procedures to testify about the defendant’s blood alcohol level. The Supreme Court ruled that, absent narrow circumstances, the actual analyst who examined the blood has to appear in court to testify. The court explained that under the circumstances, an accused has the absolute right to confront and cross-examine someone who is producing damning evidence.

Blood Alcohol Testing can have errors

The Court’s rationale acknowledged that blood alcohol testing is fraught with human error. If your DUI case involves a blood alcohol test, call our office to discuss your case. Former Pennsylvania State Police attorney Mike Sherman attended a 5 day course at the Axion Analytical Laboratory in Chicago, Illinois. The course was held in a laboratory where Mike and his classmates learned how to operate, and even take apart, a gas chromatograph. A gas chromatograph is the machine typically used to test a person’s blood alcohol level. One of Mike’s teachers was Dr. Harold McNair, an internationally known expert and one of the pioneers in the area of gas chromatography.

Mike Sherman is trained in blood alcohol testing and understands the flaws that can occur in your blood alcohol test. Call him for a free consultation.

New Website

The Law Offices of Michael Steven Sherman, P.C. is proud to announce our new web site! Through this site, you will learn about me and my experience as a DUI defense attorney. You will also find helpful information that will give you a better understanding of your DUI case, the potential consequences of a DUI offense, and why I may be able to help you.

Along with our web site, we are also featuring a Facebook page and Twitter to keep you up to date on the latest breaking legal issues that have an impact on DUI cases. We have also a YouTube page where you will find videos of me discussing the approach taken by my office to handling DUI cases along with discussions of important legal issues.

We hope you take the time to familiarize yourself with our office and know that you can ALWAYS call us for a FREE consultation!