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How Do You Suppress Evidence in DUI Cases?

Posted by Dan Kann | May 06, 2021 | 0 Comments

A DUI conviction can have long-term implications and cause you lasting harm. It may taint your record and make it hard for you to pursue a career, get housing or even attend college. A conviction can also lead to probation, fines, or even a prison term.

Defendants in a DUI case can ask the court to disregard any evidence gathered unlawfully by the law enforcement agencies, by filing a suppression motion. The prosecution may dismiss the DUI charges for lack of proof if the judge grants the motion.

Typical DUI Evidence

Common evidence in DUI cases includes:

  • Defendant's blood test results with alcohol content or the presence of drugs.
  • Defendant's breath test results with alcohol content.
  • Eyewitness accounts and testimonies.
  • Surveillance footage, eyewitness photos or videos, and bodycam videos from the police.
  • Defendant's medical records.
  • Walk-and-turn sobriety test results.
  • One-legged-stand sobriety test results.
  • Horizontal gaze sobriety test results. 
  • A copy of the defendant's statement at the scene.
  • The complete police report including:

1)  The reason for the arresting officer to pull over the defendant.

2)   Whether there was an odor of alcohol or drugs.

3)   Whether the accused had glassy, red, or watery eyes.

4).  Whether the accused had slurred speech.

Results of a Preliminary Alcohol Screening (PAS) device breathalyzer test before a DUI suspect's arrest are commonly inadmissible at trial. They only help the police determine the probable cause.

Grounds for Suppression of Evidence

The main reason that courts refuse to admit DUI case evidence is if the police obtained it through the means of unlawful search and seizure. Some of the instances when this happens, are: 

1) No reasonable reason to pull over the defendant leading to suspicion of racial profiling by the police officer.

2) Inadequate or incorrect instructions to the defendant for the field sobriety test.

3) Inaccurate calibration of the breathalyzer equipment leading to an incorrect breathalyzer chemical test.

4) Incorrect collection of blood samples or a broken chain of custody leading to contamination of the samples.

5) Insufficient probable cause to make a DUI arrest.

The court may suppress the evidence if it has been obtained unlawfully, even if it proves the defendant's guilt or is relevant in the case. 

Procedure for Suppression Motion

In the pretrial stage, the defendant or their attorney can file a motion to suppress evidence with reasons why the court should do so. The prosecutors get a chance to respond by listing the reasons to admit the evidence. The defense attorney may rebut the prosecutor's response. The burden to prove that sufficient probable cause or reasonable suspicion was present to justify the police officer's actions lies with the prosecutor.   

The defendant may appeal in a higher court after the trial level DUI matter concludes if they lose the suppression motion.

Contact a Winning Ventura DUI Defense Attorney

If you or someone you love was accused or taken into custody for DUI, do not wait. Contact the experienced and skillful Ventura DUI defense attorney at the Kann California Law Group right now. These are very serious charges which could have a lasting impact on your life. A DUI conviction can lead to probation, fines, or even a prison term, so call us at 888-744-7730 or contact us online for a free case consultation.

About the Author

Dan Kann

Daniel E. Kann has devoted his entire legal career exclusively to defending individuals facing criminal prosecution in Southern California. Dan fights criminal cases throughout Los Angeles, Ventura, Orange, Kern, Riverside and San Bernardino Counties.


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