If you are facing a criminal charge for driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol, you are facing serious legal penalties as well as the possibility of losing your freedom. For every additional DUI offense, you face additional penalties and jail time. The best way to protect your freedom and protect your legal rights is to obtain the proper legal defense.
Was the police stop unlawful?
Every time a police officer makes a traffic stop, there is a question as to whether they did so properly. If the officer did not have probable cause to initiate the traffic stop, then their actions may have been unlawful. If that can be established, your case may be dismissed. The Fourth Amendment of the U.S. Constitution requires that a law enforcement officer have reasonable suspicion that a crime is either being committed or about to be committed, before lawfully making a traffic stop.
What constitutes reasonable suspicion?
Minor traffic offenses like weaving on the road, speeding or having expired license plates, provide reasonable cause to make a traffic stop. Once you have been stopped, however, the police officer must have a specific reason for continuing to detain you, before any type of DUI investigation can begin.
An arrest without probable cause is unlawful
Even if the initial traffic stop was made properly, probable cause must exist to continue to detain someone and investigate a possible DUI charge. If the officer makes an arrest before a determination of probable cause has been made, the arrest may be unlawful. If it is determined that the arrest was made without probable cause, then your DUI defense attorney could work to have the evidence obtained after the arrest excluded as inadmissible in court.
If an officer places you in a patrol car or orders you to follow specific directions before determining whether you are sober, can constitute an unlawful arrest. If you have questions regarding DUI cases, or any other criminal defense matters, please contact Ketcham Law by calling us at (205) 296-4233.