What Is a Suppression Hearing and How Can It Help Your DUI Case?

Law Blog

When you're charged with DUI, you have multiple options. These include trying to prove your innocence or trying to get off based on a legal technicality. If you believe your legal rights have been violated, you'll want to ask for a suppression hearing.

What Is a Suppression Hearing?

A suppression hearing is a court hearing that happens before you go to trial. The goal of the hearing is to try to get evidence against you suppressed. Suppressed means thrown out so it can't be used in the case against you.

There are two aspects of a suppression hearing. One is your lawyer making the legal argument about why certain evidence shouldn't be allowed by the judge. The other is that your lawyer might need to prove facts that show how the police got the evidence illegally instead of legally.

For example, you might say your traffic stop and subsequent breath test should be suppressed because the police officer had no legally valid reason to pull you over. Your attorney will argue against the reason for the traffic stop, and the prosecutor will try to show that you committed a traffic violation that allowed the stop.

What Happens If You Win a Suppression Hearing?

If you win a suppression hearing, the prosecutor won't be allowed to use the specific evidence that you got suppressed. The case does not get thrown out right away. The prosecutor can try to prove the case with other evidence. However, you can move to dismiss your case on the grounds that there isn't enough admissible evidence to convict you.

For example, if you win your suppression hearing and get your breath test thrown out, the prosecutor can still try to argue that your swerving driving and slurred speech shows you were drunk. However, if the judge doesn't think there is enough evidence without the breath test, the judge will dismiss your case.

What Happens If You Lose a Suppression Hearing?

If you lose a suppression hearing, the evidence won't be thrown out, so the prosecutor can use it in court. However, you can still argue to the jury that the evidence is weak or shouldn't be believed.

For example, if you believe the officer exaggerated what the test showed, you can show the video to the jury and argue why the officer's description of what happened is wrong.

To learn more about how a suppression hearing can help your DUI case, contact a local DUI defense attorney today.


15 January 2021