Friday, June 22, 2012

Motion Practice Can Limit or Dismiss Evidence


Motion practice is an 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 & Amala, LLC , 5778 Commercial Street SE , Salem OR 97306

Salem Oregon DUII and Criminal Defense - (503) 378-7744, (503) 378-1013 Fax
This blog is designed for general information only. The information presented should not be construed to be formal legal advice nor the formation of a lawyer/client relationship

Not Guilty on a .16% DUI



Randall Snow is an attorney at Harris, Wyatt, Amala LLC 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 , Attorney at Law, Harris, Wyatt & Amala, LLC , 5778 Commercial Street SE , Salem OR 97306
Salem Oregon DUII and Criminal Defense - (503) 378-7744, (503) 378-1013 Fax
This blog is designed for general information only. The information presented should not be construed to be formal legal advice nor the formation of a lawyer/client relationship

Friday, June 15, 2012

Salem DUI Attorney Partners with Second Chance Program


Gig Wyatt, a DUI and criminal defense attorney based in Salem, Oregon, recently partnered with the Second Chance Program to help first time DUI offenders get better insurance rates. Working with hundreds of first time DUI clients over the years, Gig Wyatt was glad to see that there is a program now available for them to save money on their auto insurance through the Second Chance Referral Program sponsored by GMAC.

The Second Chance Referral Program was designed as a result of an analysis indicating that first-time DUI offenders as a group do not trend significantly higher for insurance claims than drivers without activity on their motor vehicle records. Unfortunately, most first-time DUI offenders will face extremely high insurance rates and even cancellation from many other insurance companies. Based on research and experience with this group, GMAC insurance is able – in most cases -to provide competitive rates helping them get back on the road and on with their lives. The program includes informational pieces that reinforce the need to avoid driving while under the influence for personal and societal reasons. Based on the same analysis repeat offenders, whose claims results do trend much higher, don’t get the same favorable treatment on their insurance rates.

 As a participant Mr. Wyatt is joining other law firms, and hundreds of clinics and driving schools across the country that offer DUI instructional programs to supply free educational brochures and materials about the Second Chance program. This voluntary program offers first-time offenders direct access to GMAC Insurance for free, no-obligation estimates of their cost for insurance and filing of the documentation required by the courts or motor vehicle departments.

 Mr Wyatt is the first attorney in the State of Oregon to be featured on the informational web site http://www.onedui.com that provides free DUI information and resources. Mr. Wyatt has been a DUII and criminal defense lawyer since 1985 and has tried literally hundreds of jury trials. Located in Salem Oregon, his practice extends throughout Oregon and focuses upon criminal defense with a specialty 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. For more information visit: www.SalemDUI.com or www.SalemOregonCriminalDefense.com.