What is a Motion to Suppress?: Suhre & Associates


Written by Rob Healey on February 4, 2015 in Motion to Suppress

Any criminal case has important deadlines, and a Dayton OVI case is no different. One important deadline occurs 35 days after arraignment (arraignment is the court hearing at which you enter your plea of guilty or not guilty to the charge). Missing this important deadline robs the driver charged with an OVI of a critical opportunity to challenge the prosecution’s evidence and have incriminating excluded from any trial.

What Can a Motion to Suppress Accomplish?

For most drivers unacquainted with the court process, a “motion to suppress” sounds enigmatic. What is a “motion to suppress” and, more importantly, why is it so important that such a document be filed?

A motion to suppress is a legal motion (document) filed with the court that argues certain evidence or information should be excluded (“suppressed”) from a trial. Evidence that is excluded cannot be considered by the judge or jury at trial, nor can witnesses mention or refer to such evidence. This can make the prosecution’s job of proving your guilt more difficult; in some cases, suppressed evidence may be so crucial to the prosecution’s case that the prosecution cannot prove its case at all and must dismiss the OVI charge.

A motion to suppress may be used to attack:

  • The officer’s initial stop of your vehicle. An officer must possess “reasonable suspicion” to stop a moving car. Usually, a traffic violation (broken headlight, swerving or erratic driving) provides an officer with sufficient reasonable suspicion to stop a car. But if there was no traffic violation or other legal reason for stopping your car, everything that occurred after the stop occurred may be excluded under the “fruit of the poisonous tree” doctrine, which states that but for the illegal stop, the police would not have discovered any subsequent evidence of intoxication.
  • The officer’s arrest of you. An officer needs to possess “probable cause” to arrest you. This is a legal standard defined by law. If the officer arrested you for OVI but did not have probable cause to do so, the arrest and evidence of everything that happened after the arrest can be suppressed.
  • The breath or blood test. If the police conducted a breath or blood test on you, they are required by law to comply with certain procedures in order to give some measure of assurance that the test results would be accurate. If the police did not follow each and every step of their procedures as written, this calls the accuracy of the breath, blood, or other test into question. A successful motion to suppress can exclude the breath, blood, or other test results from consideration at trial.

The Sooner You Contact Us, the Sooner We Can Help

The sooner you contact the Dayton OVI defense attorneys of Suhre & Associates, LLC, the sooner we can help you. A thorough investigation of your case will reveal what evidence can be suppressed. Of course, the more evidence that can be suppressed, the better your chances of receiving a “not guilty” verdict. Contact Suhre & Associates, LLC today at (937) 531-0435.

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