The Iowa Supreme Court revisited an arresting officer’s obligation to facilitate communications between an attorney and a person arrested for operating a motor vehicle while intoxicated. The defendant in this case sought legal advice in determining whether to submit to a chemical breath test. The defendant requested privacy during this telephone conference with his attorney. The officer denied this request and did not inform the defendant that private, in-person attorney-client conferences were permitted there. The issue that was decided was whether a defendant’s request for privacy during his phone call with an attorney triggered the officer’s obligation to disclose defendant’s right to a private attorney-client conference at the jail. The Iowa Supreme Court held that “once [the] defendant requested privacy for his attorney-client consultation, the officer was obligated to inform him of his right to a confidential, in-person conference at the jail.” As a result, the court ordered the suppression of the evidence used against the defendant; i.e., the chemical breath test. State of Iowa v. Hellstern, 856 N.W.2d 355 (2014).
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