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Attorneys for 'trick-or-treat' DUI seek suppression of evidence

Attorneys for a Shavertown mother who was drunk when she took her child trick-or-treating last October 31 have asked the judge in the case to suppress key items of evidence, including statements she made to police, statements to the police made by her husband and evidence of a prior DUI conviction.

The 36-year-old woman was trying to leave the house in her car to take her son trick-or-treating. Her husband was concerned that she was intoxicated, and he called the police. The woman was arrested and charged with DUI, child-endangerment and recklessly endangering another person. According to the police report, her blood alcohol content was .291 percent, more than three times Pennsylvania's legal limit of .08 percent.

The woman's lawyers have asked the judge to suppress statements she made to the police while in custody because she was allegedly not advised of her right to counsel or her right to remain silent. The lawyers also moved to exclude evidence of the woman's prior DUI conviction in 2010 on the ground that she completed the county's Accelerated Rehabilitative Disposition program and was therefore entitled to have the conviction expunged from her record. Finally, the woman's attorneys moved to suppress certain statements made by her husband to the police because the statements are hearsay and because they violate the privilege that prevents one spouse's statements from being offered in evidence against the other spouse.

As this case demonstrates, even a routine DUI prosecution can involve novel and complex evidentiary questions. No one should face a criminal trial without the assistance of an experienced lawyer who is knowledgeable about the myriad of defenses and evidentiary objections that may be available.

Source: golackawanna.com, "Shavertown mom wants evidence tossed in DUI trick-or-treat case," Roger DuPuis, July 7, 2014

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