It’s a common misconception that law enforcement officers don't
have to follow the law if they are in pursuit of someone who has committed
a crime. While this may apply to rogue officers who don’t abide
by the rules, it doesn’t mean it’s encouraged or allowed.
Even when someone is suspected of driving under the influence, a police
officer must follow the rules of the road, probable cause, and enforcement
protocol when they seek an arrest. But the question is, how does this impact
Under the California court system, everyone suspected of a crime is innocent
until proven guilty and law enforcement must give everyone the rights
afforded to them by the Constitution when making an arrest, and you are
Why Small Details Play a Big Role
A case in Illinois from a few years back highlights the importance of the
law and how it can be used to your advantage if you have been arrested
for DUI. A driver was pulled over by a police officer after allegedly
blowing through a red light. The officer pulled over the driver and suspected
the driver of driving under the influence. Due to the driver’s previous
DUI convictions, they were charged with felony DUI.
When the details of the case were carefully examined by attorneys, it was
revealed that the officer installed a dash-cam on their vehicle. The footage
showed the allegedly impaired driver's car going through a yellow
light, not a red light.
Under the law, the only way that law enforcement can pull a car over for
a suspected DUI is if they have reasonable suspicion to believe that a
traffic violation has occurred.
Since the driver had driven through a yellow light, which is perfectly
legal, the officer had no valid reason for the traffic stop. As a result,
all evidence suggesting the driver was intoxicated was suppressed and
the judge dismissed the case; case closed.
Was your police stop lawful?
When law enforcement pulls over a car without reasonable suspicion, they
are breaking the law, thus making any traffic stop and any evidence found
as a result inadmissible in court.
If you have been arrested for driving under the influence, don't leave
the case up to chance! A DUI defense lawyer will know the laws and can
carefully examine your case to find the supportive piece of evidence you
need to turn your charges around.
Contact our Orange County DUI firm to speak with a Board Certified DUI defense
specialist for free!