The defendant faces charges of DWI or driving while intoxicated. The defendant is also charged with violating traffic laws. According to the arresting officer, the defendant failed to maintain driving within the correct lane. A hearing was held in court to determine if the evidence against the defendant had been illegally obtained. The court was tasked to decide on the validity of the evidence in court. The alleged evidence includes the statements made by the defendant and his refusal to take a chemical test.
The witness on this case was the police officer who had arrested the defendant. The police officer had 20 years’ worth of experience working in law enforcement. Through the years, the officer had made several arrests involving drinking while intoxicated charges.
A New York Criminal Lawyer said that according to the statement of the police officer, he was patrolling the highway during the night when he came across the defendant’s car. The officer observed that the driver of the car was driving at a high speed. The police officer followed the car in order to get closer. As the driver of the car made the turn, the police officer noted that he ran past two stop signs and went over the yellow lines.
It was during this time that the police officer turned on his emergency lights and pursued the vehicle to a complete stop. When the car pulled over by the side of the road, the officer approached the car and talked to the driver. The officer asked for his license and registration. The driver who was also the defendant in this case, had difficulty retrieving the needed documents. The police officer also noted the smell of alcohol inside the car.
The police officer proceeded to ask the defendant if he had been drinking. The defendant replied that he had a few drinks. An NYC Criminal Lawyer said that while the defendant was talking, the police officer noted that the driver showed signs of intoxication such as slurred speech and glassy eyes. After noting the observation, the police officer told the defendant to get out of the car and walk to the back of his car. This was actually a test on the part of the defendant if he could walk in a straight line. The officer further noted that the defendant was unsteady while walking. The officer had the defendant undergo sobriety tests.
The defendant failed all of the tests. The police officer decided that the defendant was guilty of DWI and brought him to the precinct. The officer again detected traces of alcohol on the defendant. At the precinct, the officer asked the defendant if he wanted to undergo a chemical test. It was during this time that the defendant spoke and asked to talk to a lawyer. He will not answer any more questions if unless he speaks to his lawyer.
According to the provisions of the law, a traffic stop is considered constitutional when there is legal basis for its occurrence. In the case of the police officer, he witnessed the defendant violate many traffic laws including speeding, running past stop signs and going over the yellow lines. The traffic violations provided the officer the legal basis to pursue and stop the vehicle.
The probable cause to proving the charge of DWI is left on the police officer. In this case, he had probable cause since the defendant demonstrated the classic signs of intoxication which led him to violate said traffic laws. The court has noted the observations of the police officer regarding the smell of alcohol and the results of the sobriety tests administered on the defendant. It has also been noted that the defendant admitted that he was drinking.
The court has decided that the earlier evidence regarding the defendant’s refusal to take the chemical test is not admissible since it was unclear whether the defendant had insisted on his refusal to take the test.
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