When the police pull you over on suspicion of driving while intoxicated (DWI), they must do so within the confines of the law. Otherwise, the traffic stop may be unlawful, something which could have far-reaching consequences on the resulting DWI charges.
The Constitution protects you from unreasonable searches and seizures by law enforcement. As such, the police need legally justifiable reasons to pull you over before conducting further investigations. In legalese, the police must have reasonable suspicion of criminal activity to stop you in the first place. This could include observing erratic driving behavior, witnessing a traffic violation or receiving a credible tip about a potential DUI driver.
What if your traffic stop was illegal?
When the police pull you over in violation of your rights, the stop may be deemed unlawful and any evidence gathered thereafter could be suppressed in court as it was illegally obtained. Such evidence may include field sobriety tests or breathalyzer results.
Suppressed evidence cannot be used against you during your trial, something that can considerably weaken the prosecution’s case, potentially leading to reduced charges or even case dismissal. For instance, it may be hard to prove your lack of sobriety without hard evidence like blood alcohol content levels.
The importance of legal guidance
Challenging the legality of your traffic stop requires a careful examination of the circumstances leading to the stop. Factors such as the officer’s observations, dashcam footage and the timeline of events are crucial in determining whether your rights were violated. It also helps to understand law enforcement procedures and other legal intricacies.
Seeking legal assistance can prove invaluable when assessing whether any procedural errors or violations occurred and how they can impact your DWI case.