Unlawful Police Stops in California
Law enforcement is not permitted to stop people in their cars unless they have probable cause. In other words, they need a lawful reason to pull someone over, or it will be considered an illegal stop.
Examples of the most common reasons I have seen the police use to justify a pullover in DUI cases include, but are not limited to: Driving too fast, weaving, driving with improperly tinted windows, driving with no lights on, and what they characterize as reckless driving.
These are just a tiny sampling of the reasons police use to pull a person over for a DUI offense. As you can see from the list, there are many ways that police can justify a pullover.
Having defended the clients for the past twenty-five years related to DUI offenses, I have had many circumstances where I knew the police had illegally pulled my client over. Still, the critical issue is…how do you prove it? This is where experience, local knowledge, and experienced Los Angeles DUI attorney come in.
Police Must Have Sufficient Probable Cause
In some circumstances, the police are caught pulling someone over because they think they are guilty of a crime. For example, it is common for police to wait outside bars and clubs late at night and pick off drivers.
If the only reason they are pulling people over is that they are coming from a bar, this would not be a valid reason. All the evidence they find (the breath test and the field sobriety tests, for example) would all be thrown out, and the person could not be prosecuted for a DUI offense.
This is the great battle in these illegal pullover cases. The police know that a Los Angeles DUI defense lawyer will challenge them in court if they do not find a good reason to pull over a person. And the DUI defense attorney knows the police will do and say anything to protect their arrest.
Laws Regarding Unlawful Police Stop in DUI Cases
The United States Constitution protects all people in America and specifically Los Angeles, from illegal searches and seizures of their property.
Law enforcement officials are stopping people all over the country for all kinds of made-up reasons. The crucial issue in these cases becomes how do you prove it?
More and more experienced DUI attorneys are coming up with unique and innovative ways of doing this. The use of video evidence has become a very effective weapon against illegal stops.
Many of the cars police use are equipped with video, and now, in Los Angeles, many law enforcement officers are equipped with body cameras that can be used to prove a client was illegally pulled over.
Many laws protect us from the police's efforts to pull people over and arrest them for a DUI. Of course, a savvy Los Angeles DUI lawyer is needed to have any chance of utilizing these laws to the advantage of the defense.
I meet with people every day, discuss the likelihood of prevailing on an illegal stop or search motion, and make decisions that shape my client's future driving record, criminal record, reputation, and freedom.
Arrested for DUI after an unlawful traffic stop by police? Have you been charged with driving under the influence? Did police violate your rights during a traffic stop? If so, our Los Angeles DUI lawyers want to help you protect your legal rights.
Often, DUI arrests result from unlawful police stops. Our DUI defense attorneys are here to protect and fight for your constitutional and legal rights.
Police Officers MUST Observe Traffic Violation
A police officer must have probable cause to pull you over, meaning that they must have reasonable suspicion of some criminal activity.
To be stopped for driving under the influence, the officer must have observed some behavior that would cause one to reasonably suspect that the driver was under the influence.
Swerving, speeding, driving recklessly or too slow, ignoring traffic laws, and weaving in and out of lanes are examples of behavior that would cause a police officer to believe that one is driving under the influence.
If an officer stops you without reasonable cause but instead just on a chance that you might be drinking, this may be a violation of your rights and will be considered an unlawful police stop.
As your DUI lawyer, if we demonstrate that the stop was unlawful, your case may be dismissed.
So if you are being charged with a DUI and there is even a slight possibility that the police stop was unlawful, call the Hedding Law Firm as soon as possible and set up a free face-to-face consultation.
Related Content: Anatomy of a Police DUI Pullover