The answer to the question posed above is “in some cases, yes.” When evidence is successfully suppressed, it is inadmissible in court, which can often lead prosecutors to drop cases or judges to dismiss them due to a legal insufficiency of evidence. As a result, it is advisable for anyone who is facing a DUI case in Chicago to discuss their options with an experienced DUI defense attorney.
In order to obtain a criminal conviction in the state of Illinois, the state must prove every element of a particular offense beyond a reasonable doubt. This is the highest burden of proof that exists in the American legal system, and usually requires the presentation of significant evidence in support of the existence of a particular fact. These rules apply to all criminal proceedings, including those involving allegations of driving under the influence of alcohol1 or drugs (DUI). If a DUI case goes to trial, the prosecutor handling the case will introduce evidence that supports the assertion that the defendant driver was intoxicated at the time he or she was arrested. Examples of the kinds of evidence that may be introduced include the following:
- The testimony of the law enforcement officer that pulled a driver over
- The results of any chemical testing that was performed
- The results of any field sobriety testing that occurred
- Other eyewitness testimony
Complicated legal rules determine whether or not a particular piece of evidence can be admitted in court. There are many reasons a particular piece of evidence could potentially be excluded. Some of the most common include the following:
- 4th Amendment violations –The 4th Amendment2 of the United States Constitution limits the way in which law enforcement may search or seize a person or his or her property. If the law is violated, it can result in the exclusion of any evidence that was illegally obtained.
- Unreliability of evidence – Evidence can be excluded due to its unreliability. For example, an attorney can establish that a breathalyzer was not properly calibrated or that the officer who administered the test was not properly trained to use the device, it may result in the exclusion of the test results.
It is important for people who are accused of DUI to understand that these rules are not self-executing, meaning that a defendant or his or her attorney must make a motion to have evidence excluded. These types of legal arguments are best made with the assistance of an attorney.
Contact a Chicago DUI defense lawyer today to schedule a free consultation
Attorney Nenye Uche is a former prosecutor who has dedicated his career to helping people who have been accused of crimes. To schedule a free consultation with Mr. Uche, call our office today at 312-380-5341.