Was There Reasonable Suspicion for Your DWI Stop?
Cause and Effect
The Fourth Amendment of the US Constitution protects you from unreasonable search and seizure. Essentially, this protection requires law enforcement to have “probable cause“ or reasonable suspicion to search your person or property or seize anything in your possession. Even in the realm of traffic stops, law enforcement must have reasonable suspicion to pull you over. But what is reasonable suspicion? And what is reasonable suspicion for a DWI stop? Answering these simple questions can help you protect your rights.
A Reasonable Suspicion
Reasonable suspicion is a specific articulable basis for believing that a crime may have been, was being committed, or will be committed soon. A law enforcement officer must have reasonable suspicion to pull you over, but it could be any violation. For example, an officer could pull you over for failing to signal at a turn, but that stop could easily turn into a DWI arrest. In fact, police sometimes make “pretext” stops where they pull you over for a traffic violation but intend to look for evidence of intoxication. As long as the officer witnesses an infraction, no matter how minor, he or she has enough reasonable suspicion to stop you. An officer can also stop you for swerving between lanes, driving too fast or too slow, stopping before stop lights or making wide turns, all possible signs of DWI.
Because reasonable suspicion is an essential element in DWI cases, you should get a copy of the police report as soon as you can. The cause for the stop should be noted in the report. Go over the police report with an attorney to ensure the officer lawfully pulled you over.
Defending Your Rights
Unfortunately, police have been known to prey on drivers by following cars that leave bars. They are looking for a reason, any reason, to stop you, but their true intention may be to arrest you for a DWI. With this in mind, it’s vital you carefully examine every fact in your case to ensure your rights weren’t violated. Have a Texas DWI defense attorney review the police report to help you determine whether the arresting officer violated your rights and what you can do about it.
If you’re facing DWI charges in the Dallas-Fort Worth area, JBabb – Criminal Defense Attorneys is here to help. JBabb – Criminal Defense Attorneys will advise you on the best course of action. With law offices in Dallas and Denton, our attorneys provide compassionate legal services to Dallas, Collin, Denton, Ellis, Rockwall and Tarrant counties. Our experienced attorneys handle a wide variety of criminal cases including DWI/DUI, assault/family violence, and other misdemeanors and felonies. Call (214) 329-9433, email firstname.lastname@example.org, or fill out our confidential online form to schedule a consultation with a Dallas-Fort Worth criminal defense attorney.