OVUII / DUI Defense Attorney in Honolulu, HI
Many cases are resolved on “suppression” issues. This means that a defendants privacy rights, guaranteed by the Fourth Amendment to the United States Constitution and Article I, section 7 of the Hawaii Constitution. The remedy for such violations are application of the exclusionary rule. This rule simply says that whatever evidence the police gained as a result of the illegal privacy intrusion is “fruit of the poisonous tree” and cannot be used against Defendants.
In Hawaii OVUII / DUI cases, three different issues are often the subject of Motions to Suppress. First, the police officer must have had a reason to conduct the traffic stop. There are two ways a traffic stop can be justified: 1) he or she can observe a crime or traffic infraction; and 2) the totality of circumstances would lead an objective and reasonable person to conclude that a crime was being committed. Usually, in DUI cases, the officers will say that the person was weaving and/or speeding. Both of these scenarios raise a number of questions. Was the defendant driving erratically? Can the State actually admit the speed result into evidence. These are issues that Honolulu DUI / OVUII lawyer Richard L. Holcomb hotly litigates. The bottom line is that a police officer cannot just say that they don’t like the way the Defendant was driving. The State must prove that there were specific and articulable facts justifying the traffic stop. This is not a simple issue and, if charged with DUI or OVUII in Honolulu, you need to hire a competent lawyer who will fight for your rights, such as Attorney Richard L. Holcomb.
The second issue is whether the police officer had reason to ask you to step out of the car. In most jurisdictions, the police can ask a stopped motorist to step out of the car merely under the guise of “officer safety.” This is not so in Hawaii. The Hawaii Supreme Court has rejected this privacy intrusion. Most often, however, the police officers are able to justify the request to alight from the vehicle by swearing that they smelled alcohol and that the motorists’ eyes were red, bloodshot and glassy.
The third issue is whether or not there was probable cause to arrest the suspect. There are several cases in Hawaii that hold that, in most cases, probable cause will be found where the motorist fails properly administered field sobriety tests. In most cases, field sobriety tests are not properly administered. And often, reasons other than impairment (such as medical or environmental conditions) exist to explain poor performance on the field sobriety tests. Notably, if there is not probable cause, the State must ethically dismiss the case. Also, in order to determine whether the field sobriety tests were conducted properly, the Defendant needs a NHTSA DWI Detection and Standardized Field Sobriety Testing certified lawyer, such as Honolulu OVUII / DUI attorney Richard L. Holcomb. Unfortunately, many lawyers have not spent the time or money to learn about things as fundamentally important as Field Sobriety Testing.
Honolulu DUI / OVUII defense lawyer with a high success rate of winning drunk driving cases throughout Hawaii.
Many lawyers are hesitant to file Motions to Suppress. The problem is that the filing of a Motion to Suppress stays Rule 48. However, Mr. Holcomb has won a number of cases because the State is not ready to proceed on a Motion to Suppress. The proper sanction should be granting the Motion, at which point the case should be dismissed with prejudice. Further, suppression issues are one of the most fruitful areas of litigation for defense lawyers. Mr. Holcomb believes that they should be raised and not waived in hopes that the cops do not show up.