Strategies to Beat Incriminating Statements
THE DUI DEFENSE GROUP‘S GENERAL STRATEGY TO BEAT INCRIMINATING STATEMENTS REVOLVES AROUND ONE OF 2 METHODS:
- Attempt to have the incriminating statements suppressed so that they cannot be used as evidence at trial. This strategy focuses on the fact that a driver can actually be considered “in custody” before any formal arrest has been made and a Miranda Warning has been given. If this is the case, any statements from that point until his/her rights have been read can be thrown out of court, or “suppressed.”
- Attempt to diminish the strength of the driving symptoms, physical symptoms, chemical evidence, and the field sobriety tests. This strategy recognizes that some of the incriminating statements cannot be suppressed so the defense shifts its focus on minimizing their strength against the defense.
The DUI Defense Group will look to file a Pre-Trial Motion to suppress statements by looking out for a Miranda-triggering interrogation by the arresting officer where there is a “reasonable likelihood of the police words or conduct eliciting an incriminating response.” In other words, the officer might have made a statement that technically was not a question, but was intended to provoke a reply, or incriminating statement, from the driver. The police often consider these sorts of incriminating statements as “voluntary” or “spontaneous,” but actually they are not.
California has recognized that the officer’s statements constitute the beginning of an “interrogation” which would require a Miranda warning to be given before any possibly incriminating statements from the suspect can be gathered for use at trail. If a Miranda warning was not given at this point, any incriminating statements made from this point forward will be suppressed and the incriminating statements will be withheld at trial.