Anyone who has been arrested and charged with Driving Under the Influence in California should always consider hiring a private criminal defense attorney to represent them in court. Competent defense attorneys know what to look for in police reports to build a defense to your case. One defense that should always be considered is a motion to suppress evidence under California Penal Code 1538.5
The most common way to attack a DUI is to file a motion to suppress evidence which challenges the initial stop of the defendant’s vehicle. Many times, police officers will make up reasons to pull over vehicles on a hunch that they will be able to make a DUI arrest. For example, some officers will stake out bars and pull people over simply because they left the parking lot of a drinking establishment. If a Judge rules that police did not have reasonable suspicion to pull the person over in the first place, then the arrest is unlawful and any evidence gathered by law enforcement after they pulled the person over would not be admissible at that person’s trial. In a DUI case, that inadmissible evidence would include any evidence of the person’s blood-alcohol content. Other potential evidence that would be inadmissible at trial could include any observations made by the police, odors of alcohol they might have observed, results of field sobriety tests, and any statements and/or admissions that the defendant might have made to the police. In a successful motion to suppress evidence, the prosecutor is typically left with little to no evidence to prosecute the defendant and all charges are typically dismissed.
It is important to know that any arrest in California without a warrant is presumed unconstitutional. That means that the burden is on the prosecuting attorney to prove that the initial detention and subsequent arrest by the police was constitutionally justified. In order to do that, the prosecutor will have to subpoena the police officer who initially stopped the defendant’s vehicle to explain their reasons for doing so. Sometimes these officers have a hard time remembering the facts of the case and other times they have a hard time lying under oath when they know that they didn’t have a good reason to pull the defendant over. There are also times when an officer is simply a poor witness who isn’t credible and isn’t able to explain his actions under intense cross-examination by a competent defense attorney. In many of those cases a Judge will grant the motion to suppress evidence and the defendant will avoid a DUI conviction. Evaluating a case for a viable motion to suppress is just one of many good reasons to hire a competent criminal defense attorney to represent you in your DUI case.
At Wallin & Klarich, our criminal defense attorneys have years of experience defending those accused of driving under the influence while in southern California, and are prepared to handle every aspect of your case. Our attorneys will examine the circumstances of your DUI arrest in order to provide you with the best possible defense. Call for a case evaluation at (877) 466-5245.