Asked over 2 years ago - Springfield, OHFlag
alizer. We were not in a car we were walking to get help after we were involved in a car accident, and neither one of us were driving. The witness and I were passengers, but the car was mine. I got a statement from the witness the next day stating what she remembered from the accident. She says that she was drunk at the time, so she does not remember what she said to the officer.Can I get the statement suppressed? I was denied legal aid, an do not have enough money to afford a lawyer. Please help me! Please send me some advise on this matter as soon as possible. Thank You.
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First, you mention that you were denied legal aid. Legal aid is different from a public defender. You should see if you qualify for a public defender to represent you at no charge to you. If you do not qualify for a public defender, it would appear that you have at least some funds to retain private counsel. Hire an attorney as soon as you can and challenge all of the evidence against you. In addition, you will need to appeal the administrative license suspension.
If you can't afford an attorney, ask for the court to appoint one for you, however there are income limitations so you may, or may not qualify for a court appointed lawyer.
As for suppressing your friend's statement, not going to happen. However, you can challenge the reliability of her statement at trial through cross-examination of the officer (getting him to admit that she was extremely intoxicated), or by having her testify how intoxicated was and that she doesn't recall the nature or truthfulness of her statements.
If you have been charged with "refusing" to take the breath test, that suggests that you have a prior conviction of OVI within the last 20 years, is this accurate?
As for walking to get help, did anyone tell the cop WHEN the accident occurred? Did the cop ask you if you had any alcohol after the accident? There are lots of potential issues for a good OVI lawyer to look into or use to fight the OVI charge.
I strongly suggest you try to come up with the money to hire a qualified OVI lawyer or at the very least, ask for a public defender.
I would suggest that based on the facts that you have posted, you can not afford not to retain an attorney to help you. A motion to suppress is one of many defenses available to you and you need to have an experienced defense attorney review many more facts before a good opinion can be given. Briefly, just because someone is or was intoxicated does not in and of itself render their statement inadmissible, but the intoxication clearly makes credibility of the statement relevant.
I truly wish you the best.
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This answer is offered for informational purposes only. It is not offered as, and does not constitute, legal advice. Laws vary widely from state to state. You should rely only on the advice given to you during a personal consultation by a local attorney who is thoroughly familiar with state laws and the area of practice in which your concern
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