The initial traffic stop that leads to a DUI arrest can be crucial. Police officers do not have the authority to pull drivers over for insufficient reasons or no reasons at all. In some cases, DUI stops and arrests in Boca Raton may be faulty, leading to a reduction or dismissal of the charges in your case.
A skilled criminal Lawyer can assist drivers in investigating the circumstances that led to their traffic stops and arrests. When traffic stops and arrests are illegal, then DUI charges may not be legitimate. Having one of our professional Attorneys at Leifert & Leifert on your behalf can help you successfully defend yourself against the DUI charges you are facing.
Reasonable Suspicion and DUI Traffic Stops
Police officers must have reasonable suspicion to legally stop drivers on local streets, state roads, and interstate highways. Although reasonable suspicion does not rise to the standard of probable cause, police must have some justification for their belief that the drivers have violated the law in some manner, whether that be for DUI, a traffic violation, or another crime.
Under the standard of reasonable suspicion, Law Enforcement officers must either observe a traffic violation or other actions by drivers that reasonably might indicate impairment. For example, a police officer might legitimately suspect that drivers are impaired if they observe drivers:
- Rapidly swerving between traffic lanes and vehicles
- Speeding, driving too slowly, or driving at erratic speeds
- Driving without headlights, failing to use turn signals, or responding slowly or disobeying traffic lights or stop signs
- Following other vehicles too closely, stopping too far from or into an intersection
Whether police officers have reasonable suspicion to legally stop a driver based on one of these cues depends on the overall circumstances, including the severity of the offense and the number of offenses committed. The legality of local DUI stops and arrests is essential, as they otherwise can invalidate the lawfulness of the underlying DUI charges.
Probable Cause to Investigate Drivers for DUI
Once police officers have made a traffic stop, they can use the stop to establish probable cause for a breath or blood test and a DUI arrest and charge. As a result, what occurs during stops and arrests for DUI in Boca Raton can be crucial to a DUI case.
Police officers are likely to use observations, sense of smell, and auditory clues to establish probable cause to administer a blood alcohol content (BAC) test. For example, police officers may observe drivers fumbling to pull out their license and registration or exhibiting bloodshot eyes. Officers may detect the odor of alcohol or hear continual slurring of the speech of drivers.
If police officers gather enough of these clues, they may be able to establish probable cause for a DUI breath test. However, the DUI breath test results may be inadmissible if the police officer had no probable cause to request a breath test.
Rights Upon DUI Arrests
Police officers also must observe specific laws and procedures in arresting people for DUI. Their failure to follow these laws can result in a court excluding evidence gathered from the police investigation. For instance, police must advise individuals whom they are arresting of various rights, including the right to remain silent, a right under the U.S. Constitution.
Police officers should discontinue any questioning of individuals they arrest for DUI once they have invoked their right to remain silent. Likewise, drivers should immediately, although politely, indicate that they are invoking their rights to silence and behave accordingly. They should respectfully request legal counsel before they answer any questions or attempt to explain themselves.
While individuals may be unable to avoid a DUI arrest, an arrest is not a conviction. The presence of a criminal defense Lawyer can help ensure that individuals do not inadvertently incriminate themselves during the DUI arrest process. Legal counsel also can determine the existence of illegal police behaviors as a basis for excluding evidence in subsequent court proceedings.
Get Answers to Your Questions About Boca Raton Stops and Arrests for DUI
Police officers have multiple tools and techniques to establish reasonable suspicion and probable cause for DUI stops and arrests in Boca Raton. Failing to follow these procedures can result in courts rejecting evidence in court, so ensuring that police follow all laws can be crucial.
Being aware of your rights and correct police procedures can assist you if a police officer stops you and employs any of these techniques. By getting the advice that you need right away, you likely will be in a better position to defend yourself. Speak with one of our Attorneys at Leifert & Leifert today to learn more.