Many DUI’s are fought and won based on an unlawful traffic stop by law enforcement. There are two common justifications for a DUI traffic stop. The first is if the officer has developed probable cause that the driver has committed a civil traffic infraction, for instance speeding or running a stop light. If an officer witnesses a traffic infraction, or receives information from another officer who witnessed the traffic infraction (fellow officer rule), he or she may lawfully stop the vehicle.
The second common justification for stopping a vehicle is if the officer develops reasonable suspicion that the driver is committing a crime. In DUI cases, this usually means that the officer has observed an abnormal or careless driving pattern that he or she believes is due to the driver being impaired. Weaving is a very common observation in this type of traffic stop. Many people simply assume that the officer had the right to pull them over. The truth is, determining the legality of a traffic stop is often a very complex question.
Skilled DUI lawyers research judicial decisions from other DUI cases to analyze the validity of the traffic stop. Every case is different. Sometimes seemingly insignificant aspects of the officer’s report can make the difference between a lawful traffic stop and an illegal traffic stop. If the traffic stop was illegal, an experienced DUI attorney can file a motion to suppress the traffic stop, which, if granted, may result in the entire case being dismissed. Even if you feel confident that you were lawfully stopped by the police it is important to have an aggressive DUI defense attorney evaluate this critical aspect of your case.
If you have been arrested for DUI contact The Lambert Law Firm right away.