Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Felony Charges Dismissed with Motion to Suppress Evidence


Court Finds Jail Inventory Policy
Not Up to Constitutional Standards

------------------------------------

Defendant was taken into custody on drug charges after being stopped from a citizen report.   At the jail, his property was inventoried.  Additional contraband and evidence of ID Theft and other fraudulent activity was found.  

The State obtained a search warrant of his home and additional drugs were found.

“Always get a jail inventory policy.” Gig Wyatt, DUI defense attorney, pointed out.  

A motion to suppress evidence was filed and a suppression hearing was held. The court found that the jail inventory policy was not up to constitutional standards and suppressed all evidence discovered at the jail.  
The search of the home was also suppressed as the court found that the search warrant was based on the tainted evidence found in the jail inventory search.  During the suppression hearing, the D.A. then offered to dismiss those charges in exchange for a guilty plea on the remaining drug charge, which was based upon the drugs found in the car. The defense rejected that offer and the suppression hearing continued. The court found that the search of the vehicle was unlawful as well, resulting in dismissal of all 9 felony counts.


Gig Wyatt, Randall Snow, Attorneys at Law Harris, Wyatt, and Amala
5778 Commercial St SE Salem Or 97306
503-378-7844

 Information about the " Actual Cases" is provided here only for educational purposes related to real life situations in DUI defense. This information should not be interpreted as having the same results for your case, legal advice, nor substituted for the specific legal advice of an experienced attorney.

Monday, June 23, 2014

Not Guilty on a .21% Felony DUII


A jury returned a verdict of Not Guilty on a felony DUII  in Marion Co. circuit court on June 18, 2014. 

Witnesses testified that defendant was intoxicated when he entered a bar and was asked to leave. Police were contacted and arrested defendant as he was in front of the bar. He was also charged with Resisting Arrest as the police testified he struggled while being arrested.

A witness testified that he saw the defendant’s vehicle drive by the bar and later saw the defendant outside his vehicle in the parking lot of the bar. The police took pictures of the defendant’s vehicle in the parking lot, parked crooked and extending several feet out further than the other vehicles. 

Defendant’s attorney, Gig Wyatt, pointed out that police had not confirmed the time between the sighting of his vehicle driving by and the time he was seen in the parking lot.

“Their investigation left out the most important component of the case, that is, when did defendant drive and was he intoxicated when he drove,” Wyatt noted to the jury. The jury returned a verdict of Not Guilty on the Felony DUII and Resisting Arrest.


Gig Wyatt, Randall Snow Attorneys at Law Harris, Wyatt, and Amala
5778 Commercial St SE Salem Or 97306
503-378-7844

 Information about the " Actual Cases" is provided here only for educational purposes related to real life situations in DUI defense. This information should not be interpreted as having the same results for your case, legal advice, nor substituted for the specific legal advice of an experienced attorney.

Tuesday, October 1, 2013

Dismissal Before Trial on Shooting Case

by Gig Wyatt
Attorney at Law
Harris, Wyatt, and Amala

                The client was charged with Attempted Assault I with a Deadly Weapon, Unlawful Use of a Firearm, and Theft I arising out of a shooting in East Marion Co earlier this year.  The prosecutor wanted 5 years prison and threatened to charge the client with Attempted Murder if he did not accept a plea.

 The prosecution finally had enough and dismissed all charges prior to trial. The purported victim, an off-duty out-of-state police officer, called 911 to report that the defendant had punched him in the face, stole his duty weapon, shot at him, and fled the scene. His information, however, was soon learned to be largely fabricated.

Gig Wyatt discussed the strategy of when to divulge certain facts to the prosecution.  “Our investigation revealed several key witnesses that were overlooked by the police investigation. My private investigator interviewed witnesses that clearly impeached the off-duty officer. His credibility, or lack thereof, was essential.   Once we disclosed our information  to the prosecutor, they dismissed all charges.”  Shoddy investigation by the police is a prime target for criminal defense.
                Gig Wyatt practices criminal defense in Marion County and travels throughout the state. He has 28 years of experience and is a member of Oregon Criminal Defense Lawyers Association and National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers.


from the web site www.SalemOregonCriminalDefense.com :

Your Rights are Important - An arrest is a seizure under both the United States Constitution, and the Oregon Constitution, and an officer must have probable cause that you have committed a crime.  The legal concept of probable cause has both a subjective and an objective component. An officer must subjectively believe that you have committed a crime, and his belief must be objectively reasonable under the circumstances.
 

NOTICE: The purpose of this website is to provide basic and general information about Criminal Defense laws in Oregon. This publication should not be interpreted as legal advice, nor substituted for the specific legal advice of an experienced attorney.


Combined Alcohol and Controlled Substance DUII Dismissed


                The client was seen by the police sleeping in her vehicle in a parking lot with an open container in the center console.  After knocking on the window, the client woke up and began a conversation with the officer.  During the conversation, the client admitted drinking and that she took various prescription medications.  Field sobriety tests were recorded, and the officer reported that the client “failed” all the tests.  After arrest, the investigating officers joked together asking “what do you think she’ll blow?”  Laughing his response, one of the officers said “at least a .13%.”  The client took the breath test which was a .05%.  Despite the low breath test, the state continued to prosecute and theorized that the prescription medications combined with the alcohol to cause the client to be under the influence. 

                The client was eligible for the diversion program, but decided to accept the significant risk and proceed to trial.  Prior to trial, Mr. Snow repeatedly told the prosecutor how weak the state’s case was.  “When a combined theory of controlled substance and alcohol is alleged, the state needs to prove that the Defendant was, in fact, under the influence of controlled substances at the time of driving,” said Snow.  “Without a Drug Recognition exam, or a urinalysis test, the state would be asking the jury to speculate that controlled substances were affecting my client at the time of driving.”  One week before trial, the prosecutor elected to dismiss the case.  The prosecutor told the judge, “Your Honor, I think Mr. Snow would just have too much fun my officer’s investigation.” 

submitted by DUI attorney Randy Snow
Harris, Wyatt and Amala
Salem, OR

Tuesday, July 2, 2013

Motion Practice Can Limit or Dismiss Evidence in DUI Case

by Gig Wyatt
Attorney at Law
Motion practice is another effective way to limit evidence from the prosecution. It can lead to a dismissal if enough evidence is suppressed. A recent motion to limit evidence submitted by Gig Wyatt limited the testimony of the arresting officer regarding the Horizontal Gaze Nystagmus(HGN), a field sobriety test commonly used in DUII cases. 

In that case, the officer obtained 2 clues of impairment know as “lack of smooth pursuit” while observing the defendant’s eyes. He was unable to get additional clues known as “nystagmus at maximum deviation” and “nystagmus prior to 45 degrees.”  The FST testing manual requires that the test be done in a complete manner in order to be scientifically valid. Since he did not get at least 4 of the 6 clues ( he only got 2), Wyatt requested that he not be able to testify that he observed 2 clues of impairment. 

An expert for the prosecution was consulted who agreed with Wyatt. The prosecution conceded that the test was not performed as technically required and the court agreed to limit the evidence so that the officer could not testify as to those clues of impairment.   Seemingly minor steps such as this to limit the  evidence battle often prove helpful in winning the war.


 Gig Wyatt
Attorney at Law
Harris, Wyatt, and Amala
5778 Commercial St SE
Salem Or 97306
503-378-7844


Information about the " Actual Cases" is provided here only for educational purposes related to real life situations in DUI defense. This information should not be interpreted as having the same results for your case, legal advice, nor substituted for the specific legal advice of an experienced attorney.

Not Guilty on a .16% DUI

by Gig Wyatt

Randall Snow is an attorney at Harris, Wyatt, Amala LLC (back row, 2nd from right), who specializes in criminal defense and DUII. Last month’s Not Guilty verdict on a .16% DUII was evident of his trial skills.  

In that case, an officer observed defendant’s vehicle leaving a local brewery, then circled the block and noticed the vehicle in a shopping center parking lot. The defendant was walking away from the vehicle. The officer engaged the defendant.  He testified he observed signs of impairment, had defendant perform Field Sobriety Tests, and arrested the defendant for DUII. The defendant blew a .16% on the model 8000 intoxilyzer.

Snow cross-examined the officer,  effectively utilizing testimony from his DMV hearing and pointing out inconsistencies with the officer’s testimony at that hearing and the trial.  He thus exposed the exaggeration of the officer with respect to the FST’s  Despite the officer’s testimony that defendant admitted he drove, Snow pointed out that he may have been covering for someone else who may have driven and exposed the officer’s poor investigation.  Snow pointed out the State had failed to prove anything about the breath test, let alone that it was reliable. A jury took only 30 minutes to find the defendant Not Guilty.



 Gig Wyatt, Randall Snow
Attorneys at Law
Harris, Wyatt, and Amala
5778 Commercial St SE
Salem Or 97306
503-378-7844


Information about the " Actual Cases" is provided here only for educational purposes related to real life situations in DUI defense. This information should not be interpreted as having the same results for your case, legal advice, nor substituted for the specific legal advice of an experienced attorney.

Monday, April 8, 2013

Motion to Suppress Wins DUII case



Gig Wyatt, a DUI Attorney in Salem, Oregon Wins Another DUI Case

At about midnight, Mr. M drove his Corvette off the road in a rural area where it came to rest in a field. A nearby farmer heard the commotion and called police. When police arrived, Mr M was covered in blood and being attended by medics. He was combative and refused medical attn. At the suppression hearing, the arresting officer testified that he urged Mr M to go with the medics, and if he had not, he would require him to do so.  The deputy attempted to convince the court that he was concerned that the driver may have a head injury.

 However, implicit in this action is that the police want the medics to take the driver to the hospital to get a blood draw. They have referred to this as a police hold for which there is no legal support in Oregon law. He was taken to a local hospital in Linn Co. where hospital staff drew blood and police learned that Mr M was a .21% BAC (blood alcohol content).
                At the suppression hearing, Mr M’s attorney, Gig Wyatt,  elicited favorable testimony from the arresting officer on cross examination, then  argued that the police lacked probable cause to have him taken to the hospital, a type of “constructive custody.” The court agreed, granting a motion to suppress evidence. When such a motion is granted, the evidence is suppressed from that point forward in time. Thus, the court ruled that no evidence after the initial police contact could be used by the state. Mr M is a truck driver with no criminal record. Victory for the defendant.

About Gig Wyatt

Mr. Wyatt has been a criminal defense lawyer since 1985 and has tried literally hundreds of jury trials. His practice focuses upon criminal defense and he specializes in DUII defense.  He is a graduate of Willamette University Law School and is a partner in the law firm of Harris, Wyatt and Amala LLC.

Gig Wyatt
Attorney at Law
Harris, Wyatt, and Amala
5778 Commercial St SE
Salem Or 97306
503-378-7844


Information about the " Actual Cases" is provided here only for educational purposes related to real life situations in DUI defense. This information should not be interpreted as having the same results for your case, legal advice, nor substituted for the specific legal advice of an experienced attorney.

K4MMB9YUVF6J