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Drunk driving charges: Was your traffic stop legal?

On Behalf of | Nov 28, 2022 | dui

When the police pull you over on suspicion of drunk driving, they need legally valid reasons to do so. Otherwise, it may amount to an unlawful stop which is against your constitutional rights. Specifically, the Fourth Amendment protects you from unreasonable searches and seizures.

Analyzing the legality of your traffic stop should be the starting point of your defense if you are facing drunk driving charges, as it can significantly affect the outcome of your case. Here is what you need to know.

What constitutes an illegal DUI stop?

An unlawful stop occurs when the police pull you over without sufficient evidence that a traffic violation or a crime has occurred. In legalese, this is referred to as reasonable suspicion. For your stop to be legal, the police need justifiable reasons based on specific facts and circumstances. 

How an illegal stop could impact your DUI case

If the police violated your rights by unlawfully pulling you over, it could weaken their DUI case. For instance, the court can suppress evidence obtained from the illegal stop. 

When this happens, the evidence will not be used in court or form part of your trial, which may make it impossible for the prosecution to prove your guilt beyond a reasonable doubt. It could potentially lead to a dismissal or reduction of your DUI charges.

Get the necessary help

The intersection between the law of evidence and your constitutional rights can be a legally complex issue. It can be hard to ascertain whether your traffic stop was illegal, especially if you are not well-versed in judicial matters. 

As such, it is advisable and in your best interests to have an informed evaluation of your case to determine the best way of handling your defense.