In an Ohio appellate case decided this month, the prosecutor assumed defense counsel’s motion was insufficient, and it did not end well for the prosecutor. Defense lawyers often file motions to suppress evidence in Ohio OVI cases. Occasionally, a prosecutor will claim the motion is not particular enough: it’s a ‘shotgun’ motion attacking all the evidence, or it’s a ‘boilerplate’ motion not sufficiently tailored to the defendant’s specific case. The recent case illustrates a prosecutor making that claim should still be prepared to meet their burden of proof.
The Judge Agreed With The Prosecutor
The recent case is State v. Williams. David Williams was arrested for OVI, and his attorney filed a motion to suppress evidence. At the motion hearing, the lawyers for the State and the defendant narrowed the issue to whether the arret was justified by probable cause to believe the defendant committed a crime. Both lawyers elected to introduce no evidence. The judge concluded the defendant had the burden of going forward on his motion to suppress. Because the defendant did not introduce any evidence, the judge overruled the motion to suppress.
The Court Of Appeals Analyzed It differently
The appellate court clarified the responsibilities of the parties. A defendant who desires for evidence to be excluded from trial must file a motion to suppress the evidence. As the Ohio Supreme Court previously stated in State v. Schindler, “[I]n order to require a hearing on a motion to suppress evidence, the defendant must state the motion’s legal and factual bases with sufficient particularity to place the prosecutor and court on notice of the issues to be decided.”