Client, a recent college graduate eager to start his new career, was pulled over for speeding. The Deputy claimed to smell the odor of alcohol on our client’s breath, that our client had bloodshot and watery eyes and that his speech was slurred. He was asked to step out of the vehicle so that the Deputy could conduct a DUI investigation. Per protocol, the Deputy read our client his Miranda warnings and asked if he had any questions. Our client responded by asking “yeah, can I call a lawyer?” to which the Deputy stated “well, one’s not really available right now.” The Deputy then proceeded to question our client and conduct field sobriety exercises. Halfway through the field sobriety exercises, our client again asked if he could call his father to call a lawyer for him, moved toward his car, and was arrested.
Several attempts were made to negotiate a disposition in this case before the State Attorney filed formal charges. They were not receptive to the idea. As a result of filing charges, we filed a Motion to Suppress Evidence based on a violation of our client’s Miranda warnings, and a lack of probable cause to arrest our client. After a hearing on the motion, the Judge ruled in our favor based on a lack of probable cause to arrest and a violation of his right to counsel. “If the suspect invokes [the right to counsel] at any time, the police must immediately cease questioning him until an attorney is present.” Davis v. United States, 512 U.S. 452, 453 (1994). The police video of the Deputy’s field investigation for DUI shows that our client made an unequivocal request for an attorney, and the Deputy simply ignored that request.
After the Judge issued her ruling, the State Attorney dropped the charges against our client. Throughout the process he lost out on 5 potential job offers because of the pending case. Now that the charges have been dropped, he should not have a problem starting his career.