While Ashley Schiavone is always working hard for her clients, this month we take a look at two memorable cases she worked on in 2015. While the circumstances are different for each case, these two are similar in their focus and both had positive outcomes for the defendant.
State v. Dunton, June 19, 2015
After the defendant was pulled over for speeding, she was charged with DUI less safe* and DUI per se** (.149 Blood Alcohol Level). In a hearing to determine issues of custody, testimony from the State and Defense indicated conflicting evidence about whether or not the defendant was pulled from her vehicle. Ashley argued that a show of force put the defendant into custody, where she did not feel free to leave. Without proper Miranda warnings, required when a defendant is in custody, Ashley argued that the defendant’s statements in custody and the field sobriety evaluations should be suppressed under the U.S. and Georgia Constitutions. The judge agreed, finding that the defendant was placed in custody without Miranda warnings.
Result: Evidence Dismissed
State v. Williams, July 13, 2015
After the defendant was pulled over for no headlights, they were charged with DUI less safe* and DUI per se** (.120 Blood Alcohol Level.) Ashley filed a motion to suppress and dismiss the case based on a lack of probable cause for arrest and invalid consent to search under the 4th Amendment and the most recent Georgia Supreme Court case of Williams v. State. The judge suppressed all evidence following the illegal arrest based upon a lack of probable cause, declining to reach the 4th Amendment issue because his probable cause ruling made it unnecessary. After the hearing, the State dropped the DUI charge entirely.
Result: DUI Dismissed
*DUI Less Safe – An officer arrests based on actions that suggest alcohol was impairing the driver
**DUI Per Se – DUI charge for alcohol content in the blood exceeding a baseline level, not on actual impairment of the driver