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.