Your constitutional rights play a major role in how law enforcement officials are legally allowed to interact with you. For instance, there are rules and regulations that govern whether or not an officer can stop you and charge you with a DUI. If you have been charged with a DUI, challenging the stop could be possible. Here is what you need to know.
When Can Police Stop a Car?
Police do not have the right to stop people randomly. In order to stop you, the police has to have reasonable suspicion that you are driving under the influence. For instance, if the police officer witnessed you swerving off the road, then he or she would be justified in stopping your vehicle. However, if the officer did not witness any behavior from you that would indicate that you were driving under the influence, you could challenge the stop.
How Can You Challenge the Stop?
If you believe that you did not exhibit any behavior that warranted the stop, you need to find evidence to support your case. For instance, if you have witnesses (such as a passenger in the car) that can attest to the fact that you were not driving erratically prior to the stop, this could help.
In the event that you are able to successfully challenge the reason for the stop, you and your attorney can then challenge any of the evidence that was collected during the stop.
What Happens to the Evidence?
The evidence that is collected during an unjustified stop cannot be used against you. The Fourth Amendment protects you from unreasonable searches and seizures. It also requires that there is probable cause when a search is conducted. If the police officer did not have probable cause for stopping you in the first place, all of the evidence collected as a result, including any blood testing, cannot be used against you.
If the judge agrees with you and your attorney and the evidence is tossed out, it is up to police and the prosecution to gain other evidence that supports their claim that you were driving under the influence. If there is none, it is likely that the judge will dismiss the charges.
Proving that a stop by a police officer was illegal can be difficult. Because of this, you should consult with a criminal law attorney as soon as possible. He or she can help you find witnesses and other evidence to help prove your case. Speak with a representative from a firm like the Law Offices Of Jerald Silvia for more information.