My client had been involved in a one-car accident last year and eventually was charged with OUI and Leaving the Scene Of Property Damage Accident.
After the accident, he walked to his home, which was just down the street from the accident scene. Eventually, he was brought to the emergency room because of a minor head injury.
While he was in the hospital, police arrived to investigate. After my client was admitted and in his hospital bed, the police asked him very pointed questions about his involvement in the accident. His answers to those questions were, simply put, incriminating. Eventually, the police had my client’s blood drawn, and they seized it and sent it to their lab for analysis. The results of that analysis were, simply put, incriminating. So, most people believe that this is the end of the road for a defendant in this type of case and they should just plead guilty. WRONG. It is the beginning of a zealous defense.
I filed two motions to suppress: one for the statements he allegedly made at the hospital and one for the seizure of his blood at the hospital, each alleging that the police acted illegally. The motion to suppress statements focused on showing that the hospital setting was, in fact, a “custodial” setting, and that Miranda warnings should have been given to my client before questioning.
The blood seizure motion focused on the my client volunteering to submit to the drawing of his blood. The police alleged that my client simply volunteered his blood. The reality was, as I alleged, that there was much coercion, by police, for him to give his blood. The motions were scheduled for evidentiary hearing.
Because both of my motions were not only viable but probably right on point, at the hearing and prior to any testimony, the Commonwealth offered to dismiss the OUI and to convert the Leaving the Scene of Property Damage Accident to a civil motor vehicle infraction (essentially making it the same as a speeding ticket). My client jumped on it.