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The Importance of Raising Early Challenges to the Admissibility of Evidence in a New York DWI Case

One of the most common defenses to a New York DWI offense is challenging the admissibility of the government’s evidence. When police officers investigate someone for driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol, they must respect the constitutional rights of the motorist. For example, a police officer cannot pull over a driver for no reason; they must have either probable cause or reasonable suspicion to believe that an offense occurred. Similarly, police officers cannot ask that every driver take a breathalyzer without justification. If a police officer exceeds the bounds of their authority, any evidence they recovered cannot be admitted at trial.

However, if you wish to challenge the admissibility of evidence, it is imperative that you do so in a timely manner. In a recent case, a New York appellate court rejected a defendant’s appeal because he failed to raise his objections to the admissibility of evidence in a pre-trial motion to suppress.

In that case, the defendant was arrested and charged with two DWI-related offenses. The arrest occurred after police officers used a radar gun to determine the defendant was speeding. As officers approached the car, they identified the smell of alcohol and noticed that he had bloodshot eyes. Officers asked the defendant had been drinking, and he responded that he drank two beers. The officer called backup, who administered a breath test, indicating the defendant was intoxicated.

The defendant filed a pretrial motion to suppress, arguing that there was no basis for the traffic stop. However, the defendant did not challenge the officer’s decision to give the defendant a breath test. The court denied the defendant’s motion, and he appealed.

On appeal, the defendant raised a new argument in support of his motion to suppress: that the breath test results should not be admissible because the officer lacked justification to believe the defendant was intoxicated.

However, on appeal, the court found that the lower court was never presented with this particular argument. Because of that, the court determined that the defendant waived his right to challenge the admission of the breath test results. The court explained that the defendant specifically challenged other aspects of his arrest but not the breath test evidence. And, by not doing so, he gave up his right to do so.

Have You Been Arrested for a New York DWI?

If you have recently been arrested for a New York DWI offense, it is imperative that you speak with an experienced criminal defense attorney as soon as possible. There may be one or more defenses that apply in your case; however, you must raise these defenses in a timely manner or risk the court not reaching the merits of your defense. At Tilem & Associates, our dedicated team of New York criminal defense lawyers has decades of experience aggressively representing clients at every stage of the process. We command an impressive knowledge of both state and federal search and seizure law, which we use to keep illegally obtained evidence out of the jury’s consideration. To learn more, and to schedule a free consultation, give Tilem & Associates a call today at 877-377-8666.

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