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Court Decides Issue of Probable Cause for DWI Stop


The defendant was charged with DWI including various traffic violations. A suppression hearing was scheduled to determine if the statements admitted for evidence were allegedly given by the defendant. The hearing will also determine if the breath test results of the defendant will be placed under suppression.

The only witness in the hearing was the police officer who arrested the defendant for driving while intoxicated. The court was tasked to make a decision regarding the motion to suppress by reviewing the facts and the precedents of the case.

According to a New York Crirminal Lawyer, the police officer who arrested the defendant is an experienced female officer who already had several DWI arrests under her belt. On the day of the arrest, the female officer was on her usual patrol when she pulled over the defendant’s car. When the officer approached the car, she asked to see the license and registration. While the defendant produced the needed documents, the officer asked the defendant if he knew why she asked him to pull over. The defendant remarked that he was driving like an asshole.

The police officer asked where the defendant came from and replied that he was at a friend’s house. When the officer had asked if the defendant had been drinking, the defendant gave an affirmative response. During such time, the officer noted that the defendant showed the usual signs of intoxication such as bloodshot and glassy eyes and slurred speech.

An NYC Criminal Lawyer said that the officer judged that the defendant was guilty of DWI and arrested him. The defendant was brought to the precinct. At the precinct, the defendant refused to take the chemical test and breath test. The officer gave the Miranda warnings to which the defendant acknowledged that he understood his rights. When asked if the defendant wanted to talk to his lawyer, he said yes. When asked if he wanted to continue talking to the officer without his lawyer present, he also affirmed. The officer moved on to asked him more questions. In the end, the defendant consented to taking a breath test. The first attempt gave an insufficient sample. By the second attempt, the defendant was positive with alcohol in his body.

According to the provisions of the law, a defendant who has been temporarily detained because he was pulled over is not considered detained for the purposes of Miranda warnings. When a defendant is submitted under a routine stop on the road, the questioning of the police officer should be treated as only investigatory in nature.

In the suppression hearing, the probable cause for the traffic stop and the arrest should be the legal issue being discussed. The police officer’s temporary stop of the defendant was a legal procedure and did not pose an issue of custody. It can be recalled from the statement of the officer that she did not read the Miranda warnings while she was talking to the defendant on the road. The statements of the defendant when he was pulled over were made out of his own free will. He was not forced by the police officer to say anything he didn’t want to say. The court has determined that the statements of the defendant were voluntary and should be allowed as evidence against him.

In the issue regarding the evidence acquired from the tests administered in the precinct, it appears that the defendant’s right to counsel had been violated. According to the law, when the defendant in custody has expressed his intention to have a lawyer present, no further questions should be asked by the investigating officers.

Despite the defendant’s affirmative response when asked if he was comfortable answering more questions from the officer, this does not mean that he is waiving his rights to counsel. The evidence that would prove his guilt was taken because his rights had been violated. Therefore, the court has ruled that such evidence is not admissible in court since it was obtained illegally.

A DWI case should not stop you from going about your normal routine. Get the help of a New York DWI Lawyer and expect top legal services at your disposal. Whether you have been charged with sex crimes, a DWI or theft crime, call the offices of Stephen Bilkis & Associates for more inquiries.

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