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Facing DUI charges? Your traffic stop might have been unlawful

On Behalf of | Jan 11, 2022 | DUI Defense

Did the police have reasonable suspicion to pull you over and test you for driving under the influence? If not, that violates your rights vested in the constitution. The Fourth Amendment protects you from unlawful search and seizure, which could heavily weigh in on your case.

Here is what you need to know about a lawful stop and what it means for your case if the police stopped you illegally.

What makes a stop legal?

For the police to pull you over and undertake a sobriety test, they need to have reasonable suspicion that you were driving under the influence. They are not legally allowed to stop you owing to a hunch or on flimsy grounds such as driving at night.

For instance, if you speed or drive too slowly, that can be enough reason to pull you over. Additionally, no matter how minor, any traffic infraction can form the basis of a lawful stop. The police can then implement sobriety tests if they have reason to believe you are driving under the influence during a lawful stop.

The only other instance when the police do not need reasonable suspicion to stop you is at a legal DUI checkpoint. Florida is among the states where the police can set up DUI checkpoints to arrest drunk drivers. There, you have to stop for a sobriety test, and if you are found drunk driving, you cannot claim an unlawful stop led to your arrest.

Protecting your legal rights

You need to act and safeguard your legal rights if your traffic stop is unlawful. Ideally, it should form part of your defense strategy should the evidence against you have been obtained illegally. For example, you could request the court to suppress such evidence, which could translate to a positive conclusion in your case.