Probable Cause For DUI Traffic Stop in Los Angeles

13 November 2017

Probable Cause for DUI Traffic Stop in Los Angeles

For a police officer to stop an individual, the offer must have probable cause that the person behind the wheel has committed a crime or any traffic violation. That is, there must be some viable reason for an officer to pull over a vehicle. For a traffic stop to be valid, the driver of the vehicle must have done something that is against the law. An officer is not allowed to stop on a mere whim or because he had a hunch that the driver was up to no good. An officer must have a valid reason for pulling a vehicle over. Usually, officers pull vehicles over because the officer observes the driver of a vehicle committing a traffic violation. That said, if an officer pulls you over and arrests you for drunk driving, you should immediately contact an experienced DUI attorney and ask them to represent you. The Lawyers at H&M specialize in defending those who are accused of drunk driving and driving while under the influence of drugs.

Does the Initial Stop Have to be for Drunk Driving?

No, the initial stop does not need to be for drunk driving. For example, if you have a broken tail light or you were speeding, this is all the officer needs to observe to be able to legally pull you over. Once pulled over, officers typically fish for other crimes, such as drunk driving. If you’ve been pulled over for drunk driving, contact the DUI Lawyers of Los Angeles for the best possible representation at affordable prices. So, now that you know that an officer can pull you over for any traffic violation, what should you do after you’ve been pulled over? We will discuss this in the section below.

There is an exception to the rule that an officer needs reasonable suspicion to stop you and this exception is the DUI screening checkpoint. The U.S Supreme Court has authorized the use of neutral DUI checkpoints where all cars are randomly stopped and the drivers are screened for intoxication. An officer does not need reasonable suspicion to stop you at a DUI checkpoint. During the brief encounter, an officer looks for signs of intoxication. If an officer determines that you’re intoxicated at a DUI checkpoint, he can arrest you for drunk driving or driving while under the influence of drugs.

What To Do After You’ve Been Pulled Over?

Once you’ve been pulled over, you should avoid making any statements, even seemingly innocent statement can land you in big trouble. All you’re required to do is provide the officer with your driver’s license, proof of insurance, and vehicle registration. You’re not legally required to do anything more.

Once stopped, if the officer suspects that you’ve been drinking or taking drugs, he may request that you take roadside sobriety tests, such as a roadside breathalyzer test. If the test indicates that you are indeed under the influence of alcohol, the officer may then proceed to arrest you.

That said, it’s important to know that you are not legally required to take a roadside breathalyzer test. If you know that you’ll fail one, you can politely decline to take it. That said, if based on other observations the officer decides that your drunk and arrests you, you must take the breathalyzer at the police station if an officer requests that you do so.

To conclude, if you’re stopped by an officer, please do not make any statements and exercise your right to remain silent because, as mentioned previously, even seemingly innocent statements can be used against you. If offered a roadside breathalyzer, politely decline. If arrested, take any chemical tests that they administer as a refusal to take a chemical test at the police station does come with legal consequences.

What Does an Officer Need to Arrest You for Drunk Driving?

To arrest you for drunk driving, an officer needs to have probable cause that you’ve been drinking and driving. That is, the officer must be able to point to specific facts that indicate that you were indeed intoxicated and operating a motor vehicle. This has to be more than just hunch. For example, an officer can use things he observes to form probable cause, such as slurred speech, an odor of alcohol coming from you, or you failing on a field sobriety test. These are all things that an officer can use to establish probable cause. Typically, officers observe these things, but they don’t share them with you. They’re typically shared with you after you’ve been arrested and charged with drunk driving.

DUI Lawyers Los Angeles

If you’ve been arrest and charged with drunk driving, the Los Angeles DUI lawyers at H&M will investigate and argue that the arresting officer did not have probable cause to arrest you. This can be done by arguing that the officer’s observations were wrong or that the roadside sobriety test was not administered correctly or that the results are not accurate. In Los Angeles, those accused of DUIs face harsh punishment and hefty fines, as such, you should immediately hire a DUI lawyer to defend you and negotiate with the prosecution to have the charges against reduced or dismissed.


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