As best-selling criminal defense authors in both general criminal defense
and DWI Law, our lawyers know that one of law enforcement’s greatest
tools for a conviction is the statement of admission of the accused. In
the context of DWI defense the police are always trying to elicit statements
from an accused from the moment they are stopped by the police.
The New York State Criminal Procedure Law, CPL section 710.30, requires
in every criminal case, including a DWI prosecution, an accused must be
noticed of statements made to law enforcement that the District Attorney
wants to use against an accused no later than 15 days from arraignment.
This gives the Westchester County DWI defense lawyer notice and time to
argue for suppression of incriminating statements as a violation of constitutional rights.
Recently, the 3rd Department of the Appellate Division in People v. Higgins, 124 AD3d 929
(2015) determined when a right to counsel attaches. The Court found that
the defendant’s statement at the outset of the booking process that
he wanted to speak to a Westchester County criminal defense lawyer before
he would sign anything was merely prospective and did not invoke his right
to counsel. But his later request to be allowed to call his attorney was
sufficient as the police agreed to the request but provided no means for
the accused to make the telephone call. Any statements elicited thereafter
were properly suppressed.
The video of the booking process revels that most of the statements made
by the defendant before he was read his Miranda rights were made without
being solicited by officers but statements made following three instances
of questions were properly suppressed. Portions of the video showing only
the defendant’s physical condition and appearance were not suppressible
as communicative statements. Finally, because the defendant’s request
for counsel was general and not a specific request to consult with an
attorney before deciding whether to submit to a chemical test his refusal
DWI lawyer and accused need to take away from this decision that a request for counsel
must not be general in nature. Our DWI lawyers have received telephone
calls from client at a roadside stop and from police stations. That is
a specific request. An accused must always invoke their right to counsel.
Get a Powerful DWI Defense in Westchester County
In order to protect an accused rights the facts of each case need to be
reviewed in detail. Sometimes if an incriminating statement is suppressed
that can weaken the entire prosecution’s case and push a favorable
plea bargain or establish a strong defense at trial.
If you or a loved one is charged with DWI in Westchester County or the
surrounding counties call our DWI lawyers today. We immediately, get to
work preparing your defense and keep you informed of our legal strategy
to protect your rights. We are an experienced and aggressive law firm
with main offices in downtown White Plains, NY and offer a free initial
Call the Westchester County criminal defense lawyers today (914) 946-4808.