This Garner DUI lawyer would like to comment on a legal issue litigation that is often overlooked — did the police have the right to pull a motorist (who may or may not have been drinking) over in the first place? Now, first and foremost, the law on whether or not the police have the right to pull a motorist over is entirely separate from whether or not they have the right to make an arrest. According to the U.S. Supreme Court, law enforcement officers must have “reasonable suspicion” that a motorist may be breaking a law before a traffic stop can even be made.
Now usually the courts generally give very wide latitude to the police to make traffic stops. Generally speaking, any observation such as the driver was driving too slowly, weaving, changing lanes without signaling, or any symptom indicative of driving under the influence of alcohol will probably justify the stop in the court’s eyes.
On the other hand, however, a Garner DUI lawyer can often get a case dismissed by the courts if it can be shown that there was no probable cause to make the traffic stop or because the officer’s reason for making the stop was pretextual or untrue. For instance, if it can be shown that a police officer was merely waiting outside a bar at closing time to stop motorists as they proceeded to drive home — the courts will likely find that no probable cause existed. Likewise, the courts are likely to be very suspect of the legality of the traffic stop if a motorist is stopped merely because he is driving through a high-crime neighborhood late at night — even if the police officer reports that he made the stop for some very petty law infraction, such as a missing license plate light, etc.
And what happens if the courts find that a police officer had no probable cause to pull over a motorist in the first place? Any evidence gathered by the police after the traffic stop cannot be used at trial. Put another way – case dismissed.
Garner DUI Lawyer
If you or a friend or relative has been arrested in the Triangle area of North Carolina, consider contacting a Garner DUI lawyer.