A Defensive Strategy for Your DUI Charge: Suppressing the State’s Evidence

Interviewer: Please provide me with an example of a situation where you would help someone on DUI charges that were extremely serious and yet somehow you were still able to get them at favorable outcome in the form of mitigated results.

Court: Other than to win at trial, one of the most common ways is to go through and do a motion to suppress evidence. Obviously when you’re accused of a DUI, the state has the burden of proof. They have to prove that you are guilty beyond a reasonable doubt.

Your Attorney Will Look to Suppress the Results of the Breath Test

In order to prove your guilt beyond a reasonable doubt, they have to provide evidence to support their case. In a DUI case, the most common types of evidence are the blood alcohol level from the breath test that the police will have you take. That’s one piece of evidence.

Your Attorney Will Look to Suppress the Testimony of the Arresting Officer

Then the other kinds of evidence are the officer’s observations of your driving patterns, for example, if you’re weaving, or speeding or missing stop lights. The evidence will also include the officer’s observations of your behavior and appearance at the time of the stop, for example if you’re talking slowly or with slurred speech, and if your eyes are red and bloodshot, or if you’re fumbling for documents.

Evidence That Is Suppressed Cannot Be Used Against You during Your DUI Trial

When they go to try and prove that you’re guilty of DUI, they’ll have compiled that evidence. What you can do is if you win a motion to suppress evidence then the state will not be able to use that suppressed evidence against you.

For instance, if there is something wrong constitutionally with the way that the officer conducts the breath test, then the results of the breath test cannot be used as evidence. You would file a motion to suppress and if you win that, then the state doesn’t have the evidence of the breath test.

That’s really detrimental to the state’s case. Typically, the state will just dismiss the charges if they cannot use that evidence. Even if they don’t dismiss the charges, they’re going to have a really hard time proving to the jury beyond a reasonable doubt that you’re guilty of driving under the influence, especially when they can’t just point to the breath test results.

By Court Koehler

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