We had a rather difficult hearing yesterday on what is a simple issue: did the police officer have reasonable suspicion of impairment in order to require my client to perform field sobriety tests? Unfortunately, the answer was yes. In Maine, the officer doesn't need much to stop you and he needs even less to expand his initial stop into a full-blown OUI investigation. In this particular case, in spite of calling the officer's credibility into question, the presiding judge sided with the State. Although he indicated that it was a very close issue, he did find that the officer had enough reasonable suspicion of impairment to order my client to perform field sobriety tests.
So, what happens if you lose a hearing on a motion to suppress? Well, there are a couple of options. 1st, you could go back to the drawing board and see if a plea agreement can be negotiated. 2nd, you can keep pushing the envelope and push the case to trial in the hopes of either securing a better offer like a drop down or in the hopes of obtaining an acquittal before a jury.
These are decisions that only the client can make with the advice of counsel. In my client's particular case, he took my advice and decided to push his case to trial. My philosophy is that if there are viable trial issues and the last offer made by the DA is no better than what the judge would impose following an unsuccessful trial, why bother accepting it?