EVIDENCE SUPPRESSED AFTER DWI ARREST DUE TO MIRANDA WARNINGS NOT BEING READ

Prior results do not guarantee a similar outcome.

In a very unique fact pattern, John Ingrassia's client was arrested after she showed up to a DWI Victim Impact Panel located at the County Jail allegedly under the influence of alcohol.

As part of the admission process all attendees are screened for alcohol consumption by submitting to a Preliminary Breath Test (PBT). After she was screened her test revealed the presence of alcohol on her breath. As a result, she was detained and directed by a law enforcement officer to remain seated in a specific location until a supervisor was contacted. After a period of time the supervisor arrived and began to question Mr. Ingrassia's client prior to advising her of her constitutional rights known as Miranda Warnings. These warnings include her right to remain silent and that anything she said will be used against her in court and that she has the right to speak with an attorney prior to questioning. His client admitted to having driven to the facility in response to the Police officer's question of how she arrived at the facility. Based on that statement she was arrested for DWI.

After an evidentiary hearing where multiple witnesses testified the Judge agreed with Mr. Ingrassia that the police had unlawfully seized his client prior to their having probable cause to believe that she had actually operated a motor vehicle while under the influence of alcohol. As a result, all evidence was suppressed including the results of all field sobriety tests, all statements as well as her blood alcohol test results determined by a breathalyzer test.

While we do not condone driving while under the influence of alcohol and although one will find the accused person's alleged conduct to be appalling, this case serves as an important example that no matter what the circumstances are in any case, our constitutional rights afforded to all individuals are not suspended or diminished by the situation in which a person finds themselves.

As a result of the suppression order, all charges against Mr. Ingrassia's client were dismissed.