Dazzle Them With Meaningful Cross
Originally Posted on: Mar. 21 2006,22:39 by William Maze
I apologize that I haven’t updated this section in so long. I can’t believe it’s been so long since I posted a new case! Shannon and I have won several cases that I’ll try to give a brief description of during the next few weeks as time permits.
Today’s victory, however, was at the DLAD, where I employed a new style of cross-examination that I’ve been adopting to my cases. At a DLAD hearing for an implied consent violation, the driver is alleged to have refused the police officer’s request for a chemical test after a valid arrest. Typically, this means that a driver was arrested for OWI based upon probable cause and refused the breath test.
At a DLAD implied consent hearing, the driver “appeals” the automatic one year suspension for refusing the chemical test. According to the Secretary of State:
MCL 257.625f limits the issues appealable at a hearing ONLY to the following:
1. Whether the peace officer had reasonable grounds to believe that you committed a crime described in MCL 257.625c(1).
2. Whether you were placed under arrest for a crime described in MCL 257.625c(1).
3. If you refused to submit to a chemical test upon the request of the officer, whether the refusal was reasonable.
4. Whether you were advised of your rights under MCL 257.625a.
An attorney that understands the provisions of MCL 257.625c(1) will challenge all the issues, as was done in today’s case. Using the newly developed style of cross-examination that I’ve been working on during the last couple of months, I asked a long series of short, looped questions designed to culminate in a point that favors the desired outcome. These questions were specifically formulated prior to the hearing. Culminating on the biggest most critical point, it was revealed that the officer had improperly advised the driver on the impact of a breath test refusal.
In closing argument, most of the base questions were waived in favor of the critical points. The focus on the critical points illuminated those points. The focus on the critical points made the issues obvious. And the focus on the critical points translated to a victory.
The critical points were illuminated, obvious and equaled a victory. And that too, is part of the new style of cross-examination that I’ve been developing to represent clients more effectively at hearings, at motions and at trial.