When it comes to DUI/DWI cases, one of the most common ways to successfully challenge the evidence is to file a motion to suppress evidence.
This type of court motion asks the judge to block a piece of evidence. If the motion succeeds, the evidence is not allowed in the case whatsoever, meaning that the prosecutor will be unable to draw on it in order to make an argument against you.
A motion to suppress evidence can be brought on several different grounds. The most common grounds in a DWI case are: questioning whether the arresting officer had probable cause to make a traffic stop or arrest and challenging the results of the chemical tests administered to determine BAC.
The first thing your attorney should do is determine if the arresting officer had a lawful reason to stop you. There needs to be probable cause that a crime has been committed or else law enforcement does not have the proper grounds to make a stop or an arrest. It is unlawful to stop an automobile in anticipation of discovering a vehicle code violation or contraband when probable cause has not been established. If the arresting officer did not have probable cause to stop the defendant, any evidence collected after the traffic stop may not be admissible in court.
Regarding the administration of chemical tests, there are strict guidelines for carrying out these tests and if they are not followed, the evidence can be inadmissible during the trial. Whether the breathalyzer used during the arrest was not calibrated properly or if your blood sample was mishandled in the lab, these results could be challenged and suppressed.
Furthermore, filing a motion to suppress provides lawyers the opportunity to cross-examine law enforcement officials and witnesses involved in the case. By utilizing skillful cross-examination at the hearing, lawyers can limit what police and adverse witnesses can testify to during trial, increasing the defendant’s chances of obtaining a successful outcome.
While there is no guarantee that suppressing a piece of evidence will get your DWI charges dropped, prosecutors need evidence to win their cases. If some or all of their evidence is suppressed, they would to re-evaluate their entire case strategy and ultimately may to drop the charges against you under these circumstances.