What Does a Motion to Suppress Mean for DUI?
One of the most effective defense strategies in a DUI case is to file a motion to suppress evidence. A suppression motion is a written request for the court to exclude certain evidence from trial. This is a strategically filed motion that plays a key role in attacking the results of drunk driving tests, and getting them thrown out.
What Type of Evidence Can Be Suppressed in DUI?
With a successful suppression motion, the court excludes all evidence that was obtained by the police after the illegal traffic stop. This includes the following types of evidence:
- Officer reports about the smell of alcohol on the defendant’s breath
- Officer accounts that the defendant was slurring their words
- Reports that the defendant was “acting” drunk
- Incriminating statements made by the defendant
- Damaging results from the field sobriety tests
- Blood alcohol concentration (BAC) results from breath and blood tests.
- Eyewitness statements
- Video footage
- Medical records
- Field sobriety test results such as the one-legged stand and horizontal gaze nystagmus test
A suppression motion simultaneously attacks all drunk driving tests by seeking to exclude these tests and evidence from trial. Generally, the most beneficial motion in a DUI case is challenging the legality of the initial police stop. A suppression motion that challenges the detention of the motorist is one of the most critical motions that attack the drunk driving tests. Why? Because, a successful suppression motion can mean the defense wins a DUI case.
What Are the Grounds for a Motion to Suppress DUI Evidence?
Courts will grant a suppression request to throw out evidence in DUI cases if that evidence was obtained through misconduct or unconstitutional searches.
A motion to suppress evidence can be filed on the following grounds:
- Questioning if the police officer had probable cause to make a traffic stop and arrest
- The results of the chemical tests to determine BAC were contaminated
- Field sobriety was not administered correctly
When a suppression motion is challenging the legality of the stop, the DUI defendant can provide valuable information regarding their driving. How many times did the alleged weaving occur? How fast was the defendant driving? What were the road and traffic conditions? Did the defendant break any laws?
How long did the arresting officer follow before pulling the defendant over? Was the road straight, or were there twists and turns? Since officers rarely provide a full explanation of the defendant’s driving, a suppression motion helps to fill in this informational gap.
Leading-Edge Defense Strategies for Your DUI Defense
The motion to suppress evidence is one of the key tools used by defense counsel to defend DUI cases. If a motion is successful and the DUI evidence is excluded, the state has no other choice but to dismiss the DUI case. Doesn’t that have a nice ring to it?
If you’re facing DUI charges in Orange County, get a Board-Certified DUI defense expert on your side – call the Law Offices of Virginia L. Landry, Inc. today!