Have you been charged with a DUI? Then almost certainly your DUI stop and arrest involved probable cause. Too many times, DUI defendants believe that just because they registered a breathalyzer test (or another BAC test) over the legal limit that they must resign themselves to a guilty plea. However, DUI procedure is a sensitive process that involves careful conduct by police. This includes finding and citing legitimate probable cause.
In the simplest terms, probable cause is the indication to law enforcement that someone is or could be breaking the law. For DUI, it can be obtained any number of ways.
Common examples of DUI probable cause includes officers witnessing:
- Lane drift
- Erratic braking
- Excessive speeds (or very low speeds)
- Near misses with other vehicles or objects
- Traffic accidents
- Traffic injuries
After observing any of these things, officers traditionally have enough probable cause to pull you over and investigate. In some cases, these signs of DUI are captured on dashboard cameras or are evident when an accident has occurred, but often, they are based solely on the word of the arresting officer.
"Did my arresting officer have probable cause?"
When assessing DUI case, probable cause is always one of the first things to examine. Many DUI stops occur after little to no incident, so working to establish that probable cause was not obtained before the accused was stopped can be valuable to a defense strategy. When it can be proven that law enforcement did not have probable cause, much of what they discover during their investigation (the DUI stop) can be suppressed and the charges against the accused can be thrown out.
Often, however, these disputes are the word of the accused versus the word of the police officer. That is why at Willis Law Firm our experienced and award-winning Atlanta DUI lawyers make a thorough examination of our clients' cases. When there is a probable cause issue, or any other factor that damages the legitimacy of the accusations brought against our clients, we can ensure that it will be properly addressed in an aggressive effort to secure a reduction or dismissal.