The Number One Requirement For A Valid Traffic Stop
If you have ever been driving over the speed limit, and had a police cruiser pull up behind you, your first instinct is to tap the brakes to slow your speed. If you are successful, you might avoid being pulled over and being written a speeding ticket. But, if not, you run the risk of receiving a citation if the officer decides to have you pull to the side of the road. If you have been drinking, things can quickly escalate, and you can be arrested and charged with DUI. Neither of these seem like fun, and both can cost you your time and money.
But unlike a routine traffic stop, a DUI requires something more than being paced by a police officer, or having a radar read out of your speed. In order to be charged with DUI during a traffic stop, the stop itself must be valid. The number one requirement for a valid traffic stop is that the officer have reasonable suspicion to make the stop. Without being able to articulate a reasonable ground for having pulled you over, the traffic stop itself can be considered invalid. If that is the case, anything that transpired thereafter is subject to attack. Some of the ways an officer can establish reasonable suspicion include:
- Verbal testimony of your speed or other driving pattern, such as weaving in and out of traffic to changing lanes without signaling.
- Claiming you failed to obey a traffic signal or sign, such as by running a red light or rolling through a stop sign.
- Driving too slowly can also be cause to pull you over, and depending on what the officer observes during the stop, there may be reason to question you about your activities prior to taking the wheel.
If you have been pulled over for a traffic violation, and during that stop were arrested for DUI, call us for help. Our team of DUI attorneys knows what to expect from the police when they are trying to establish cause for the stop. We also know what to look for when developing a defense to a DUI charge, whether it be by attacking the breath test results or by challenging other aspects of the arrest. We have helped others handle their traffic and DUI cases, and can help you too.
If you have questions about DUI defense, call our office for answers. Call an experienced criminal defense attorney in Stuart and the Treasure Coast. Your first visit is a free initial consultation.