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What is a Motion to Suppress? When is it Used?

Every trial, every case, and every situation is different. You never know when you will need to request something while in court. Working with experienced attorneys at The Farrish Law Firm, L.P.A. in Cincinnati can help you get the legal counsel you need no matter the circumstance.

Motion to Suppress

In some instances, you or your attorney will need to make a formal, written request to a judge that asks for specific evidence to be excluded from consideration. If granted, this means that no matter what, a jury or judge must not factor in that particular evidence during a trial.

A motion to suppress is usually filed during a criminal trial, and is brought upon the court due to an alleged violation of a defendant’s rights.Violations that Can Lead to Suppressed Evidence

There are various violations that if done before a trial, can lead to the evidence being thrown out. Here are a few potential violations that can occur during a DUI arrest in Ohio:

  • Incorrect administration of a field sobriety test.
  • Attack on the probable cause to pull the vehicle over in the first place.
  • Incorrectly using or maintaining the breathalyzer device.
  • Attack on the probable cause that lead to the arrest.

If any of these violations can be proven during cross-examination, a judge will be forced to throw out that evidence.

Probable Cause to Pull Over

In Cincinnati, an arresting officer has to be able to prove reasonable suspicion to pull a vehicle over. Officers are trained to look for common signs of impairment. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration lists many of those indicators:

Vehicle in Motion

  • Eye fixation
  • Tightly gripping the steering wheel
  • Slouching in the seat
  • Gesturing erratically or obscenely
  • Face close to the windshield
  • Drinking in the vehicle
  • Driver’s head protruding from the vehicle

The Stopping Sequence

  • An attempt to flee
  • No response
  • Slow response
  • An abrupt swerve
  • Sudden stop
  • Striking the curb or another object

Personal Contact Phase


  • Bloodshot eyes
  • Soiled clothing
  • Fumbling fingers
  • Alcohol containers
  • Drugs or paraphernalia
  • Bruises, bumps, or scratches
  • Unusual actions


  • Slurred speech
  • Admission of drinking
  • Inconsistent responses
  • Abusive language
  • Unusual statements


  • Alcoholic beverages
  • Marijuana
  • “Cover up” odors like breath sprays
  • Unusual odors

Pre-exit Sequence

  • Forgets to produce both documents
  • Produces documents other than the ones requested
  • Fails to see the license, registration or both while searching through wallet or purse
  • Fumbles or drops wallet, purse, license, or registration
  • Is unable to retrieve documents using fingertips

The Exit Sequence

  • Shows angry or unusual reactions
  • Cannot follow instructions
  • Cannot open the door
  • Leaves the vehicle in gear
  • “Climbs” out of the vehicle
  • Leans against the vehicle
  • Keeps hands on vehicle for balance

Officers can consider these indicators when making their probable cause determination to stop and arrest. For an arrest to be valid—to administer a field sobriety test and/or make an arrest— probable cause has to be proven as well. If there is no proof of probable cause, the evidence can be suppressed and the case may be thrown out.

After an arrest of any kind, your first move should be to contact The Farrish Law Firm, L.P.A. in Cincinnati and ask to speak with their experienced attorneys. They can provide you with the information and let you know if it’s wise to move forward with a motion to suppress. Contact us to get started.