Pushing Back On Illegal DUI Stops
The Fourth Amendment provides protection against unreasonable search and seizure, meaning an arrest for drunk driving has to begin with a police officer’s reasonable suspicion that you’ve broken the law in some way.
At the Law Offices of Lance T. Marshall, we have extensive experience analyzing traffic stops that lead to DUI arrests. In fact, DUI charges often hinge on one important question: Was the DUI stop legal? If it turns out the stop was illegal, evidence against you can be thrown out.
Examining Traffic Stops
In order to pull you over, police officers must have reasonable suspicion that a crime or violation, including driving while impaired, has occurred. Common rationales for DUI stops are:
- Failing to stop at a stop sign or red light
- Driving over the speed limit
- Drifting between lanes
- Riding the center line
- Extremely slow driving
It may feel as if your case is open and shut as soon as the officer pulls you over for a traffic violation, but a skilled attorney can make all the difference. Our firm handled one particular case where the accused driver was pulled over for crossing the double line only one time. The stop took place at 2 a.m. We argued that crossing the double line once during the day would not have resulted in a stop, and got the charges dismissed.
If a stop is found to have been illegal, all evidence gathered after the stop can be thrown out. This often results in charges being either dismissed or reduced.
DUI Checkpoints: Are They Legal?
While police generally cannot pull someone over for no reason, most states, including Pennsylvania, allow police to conduct DUI checkpoints. At these checkpoints officers will check drivers for signs of intoxication at random and a set interval, such as every fifth vehicle.
Pennsylvania law requires these checkpoints to be advertised in advance by road signs and media notices. You can also legally avoid a DUI checkpoint by turning off the highway or making a U-turn, as long as it is done in a lawful manner before entering the checkpoint.
Speak To An Experienced DUI Defense Attorney
If you have been charged with a DUI and suspect you were pulled over illegally, it is important to speak to a lawyer as soon as possible. Call our State College office at 814-308-0422 or contact us online to schedule a free consultation.