Was my DUI Traffic Stop Legal?
A police officer doesn’t need a warrant to stop you while you are driving. All the officer needs to have is the reasonable suspicion that something illegal has transpired. For example, the officer may have observed as you drove through a stop sign without stopping. They can also stop you if they notice that you are driving erratically or unreasonably slow. After you have been stopped, it may come to the officer’s attention that you may have been drinking. If you were stopped for either reason, the officer has the obligation to conduct a DUI investigation.
According to the Supreme Court, DUI checkpoints are not under the reasonable suspicion rule. The reason is because checkpoints are placed with the intent of keeping the public safe, and this is more important than any objections that motorists may have.
In order for you to be prosecuted for a DUI, the arrest must first be legal, but it must also be supported with probable cause. This means that the officer must have a reasonable basis for having stopped you for driving under the influence.
In a majority of the states, this means you were conducting your vehicle while you were under the influence of drugs or alcohol. It also means that your blood alcohol content was .08% or higher.
An officer is free to note any other signs of drug or alcohol consumption, including the following:
- The smell of marijuana or alcohol
- Unusual behavior
- Speech that is slurred
- Eyes that appear to be bloodshot
At this point, you may have been asked to perform a field sobriety test. The officer may also ask you to complete a breath test, and the results of these tests will go toward considering whether or not there was probable cause in your arrest.
Once everything has been considered, if a reasonable person can come to the conclusion that you were under the influence, the arrest will be considered to be legal.
What If the DUI Stop Was Illegal?
Suppose that the officer did not have a reason to believe that you were under the influence of drugs or alcohol. Suppose that he or she didn’t have probable cause to make the arrest. If the case goes to court, the evidence that the officer gathered would be inadmissible. This will mean that your Heber City DUI attorney would have to file a motion to suppress this evidence. If your Heber DUI attorney manages to successfully do this, it could mean that your case will be dismissed.
How Can a Lawyer Help?
If you want to fight your DUI charges, you must contact the Gordon Law Group. Your DUI attorney in Heber will decide on the best defense for you. Sometimes, law enforcement officers arrest people on DUI charges after finding them asleep behind the wheel of their vehicles, but in some states, you must be driving the vehicle to be convicted on this charge.
Your DUI lawyer in Heber may also contest the results of your field sobriety or breath tests. The argument would be that the test did not accurately portray the amount of drugs or alcohol in your system at the time that you were driving. If your DUI attorney in Wasatch County uses this defense, he or she will hire an expert witness.
In some cases, your behavior can be explained by something other than intoxication. For example, you may have failed your field sobriety test because you were very tired and not because you had been drinking or taking drugs. Your DUI lawyer in Wasatch County would be able to present this as evidence during your trial.
If you need the services of a Heber City DUI attorney, contact us at Gordon Law Group today.