Motion to Suppress Evidence - PC 1538.5
DUI Defense Strategies
By David A. Welch posted in the Southern California DUI Defense Attorney Blog on Wednesday, February 2, 2012
A Motion to Suppress is one of the most commonly known strategies used by California Driving Under the Influence Defense Attorneys. This Evidentiary hearing is initiated by defense to suppress the evidence that the Prosecution will be allowed to use in trial. When successful, the most likely outcome is the Prosecution will dismiss all related charges filed against the Defendant.
The evidentiary hearing is generally set after the defendant's attorney files a Motion and Notice of Motion pursuant to California Penal Coded Section 1538.5.
The supporting basis for defense counsel to file a Motion to Suppress Evidence can vary. Such motions are most commonly filed because the defense contends that the officer has shown no legal cause for pulling the vehicle over. As will be determined by the Judge, an enforced stop of the defendant without legal cause will result in all evidence obtained by the arresting agency from the point of the stop to be inadmissible in court. Another issue arises when a DUI arrest is made without evidence supporting the officer's belief that the defendant was under the influence. As in the previous case, this lack of evidence supports the filing of a Motion to Suppress. In California, once the defense files the Noticed Motion to Suppress Evidence and a motion date is set by the court, the State will have a limited period of time to file their written response in objection.
In an attempt to support the position of the people, the prosecution will typically serve a subpoena on the officer(s) involved in the stop and investigation. On rare occasion, the defense attorney may also subpoena a witness to address a particular issue that may arise from the defense perspective. The witnesses will be subjected to and answer both direct and cross examination questioning After all physical evidence and testimony has been considered, the judge makes a ruling to either grant or deny the Motion to Suppress. This ruling can be immediate, or can be "taken under advisement" and made at a later date, generally the decision is immediate.
If the judge denies the Motion to Suppress Evidence, the case continues where it was, and things proceed in normal course. Generally, the defense will proceed immediately to trial. On the other hand, if the Motion is granted, important evidence against the DUI defendant is suppressed (such as the BAC (blood alcohol content) results, the DUI defendant's admissions, etc.) resulting in the prosecution dismissing their case against the defendant. In rare instances where the prosecutor does not drop their case against the defendant, they will be forced to proceed to trial without any evidence supporting the DUI and are very likely to loose.
If you are being investigated or have been charged with any criminal offence, an experienced Southern California DUI defense attorney will be able to review a client's individual case, and determine if the filing of a Motion to Suppress Evidence is merited.
Please contact David A Welch and his staff so that we can further discuss the specific details surrounding your case and mutually determine the best legal path available to follow.