Steven Epstein Wins Suppression Based on Lack of Probable Cause

“There is a lack of existing case law in New York defining the circumstances where there is a lack of probable cause – though there is ample authority for what equals probable cause. It is not often a Judge issues a decision suppressing based on a lack of probable cause for a DWI arrest, but it happened for one of my clients last week in Mt. Vernon City Court so I wanted to share this one with you. This followed a three day suppression hearing during which we called Anthony Palacios who testified as an expert witness in standardized field sobriety testing.

Judge Armstrong found, a lack of probable cause for our client’s arrest, resulting in the suppression of the .16 BAC and most of the evidence against our client. This was a hard fought victory that was the result of a thorough cross of the arresting officer as well as a well presented defense expert who explained to the court why every single SFST was unreliable and could not be used to support a probable cause decision. The decision to call our expert at the hearing was not an easy one but it was one that  paid off.  Trials are great when we win them but wins like these are a big reason we do what we do. I want to thank Anthony Palacios. I cannot imagine going into battle with anyone who makes me feel more able to take on the People’s case.

We make a difference every day in the lives of others, some days more than others, today is one of those days. Read our brief in support of the motion to dismiss and the Court’s decision below.

I hope you find them useful to your practice.”

-Steven Epstein


Hillman – Decision and Order – Suppression motion