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Was there valid reason to stop your car before a DUI charge?

Many elements can play important parts in your case if a police officer arrested you on suspicion of DUI. While your first instincts may be to look forward and determine what a conviction could do to your future, it may also prove wise to look back at the traffic stop that led to your arrest.

Every detail of your traffic stop and subsequent arrest could have an impact on your case, especially your defense. If a police officer or other authority involved in your case makes a mistake anywhere from making the arrest to handling evidence, that error could affect whether the evidence is admissible. One important aspect to consider when reviewing your case is to determine whether the officer had reasonable suspicion to stop your car.

A reason must exist

Police officers cannot simply pull drivers over just for the sake of potentially coming across someone doing something illegal. Law enforcement officials must have reasonable suspicion that the driver has violated the law in order to conduct a traffic stop. However, you may want to remember that the initial reason for the stop does not have to directly relate to DUI concerns. For instance, if an officer notices a broken tail light, stops your vehicle for that violation and then believes you are intoxicated, the stop is not unreasonable.

Other actions that may give an officer reasonable suspicion to stop your vehicle include the following:

  • Making illegal turns
  • Erratic or reckless driving
  • Braking for no reason
  • Stopping in the road for no reason
  • Driving well under the speed limit
  • Speeding
  • Failing to remain in your lane of travel
  • Swerving or weaving
  • Hitting other vehicles
  • Almost hitting other vehicles or objects

This list is not exhaustive, and an officer may have reasonable suspicion to stop your vehicle even if you do not carry out any of these specific actions.

The reason and your defense

Though many factors could give an officer reason to stop your vehicle, some reasons may be considered arbitrary or possibly even fabricated. Therefore, you may benefit from carefully reviewing the reason the officer gave for stopping your vehicle. If reasonable suspicion does not exist, the court could potentially drop or reduce charges for DUI brought against you.

Reasonable suspicion is just one aspect of your case to consider. By exploring other defense strategies, you may have the ability to build a meaningful presentation to help maintain your freedom.

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Tim Kelly

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Tim Kelly Attorney At Law
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