Consider any traffic stop in which you have ever been involved. Even in a simple stop for something such as a broken tail light, this formality is a form of a seizure, which is addressed the Fourth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution. When a stop is performed without just and reasonable suspicion, any charges that follow may be deemed unconstitutional and be dismissed, even in cases involving DUI . However, obtaining this outcome often depends on favorable circumstances coupled with a knowledgeable attorney who has the ability to use them to your advantage.
The Fourth Amendment
The Fourth Amendment protects citizens against unlawful searches and seizures—including arrests—and requires a court-issued warrant even in cases with probable cause. However, a loophole exists in which if the officer believes the driver or general public are in danger, a warrantless stop is permissible. Reasonably suspicious activities are not clear-cut or defined for law enforcement officers, offering ambiguity that allows an officer to use his or her judgment given the present circumstances. If the stop is improper, the stop itself and any resulting evidence are challengeable. Possible concerns include:
• An illegal stop with no reasonable suspicion; or
• An illegal search without a warrant based on probable cause.
Using One Charge to Initiate a Second
Think back to the circumstances surrounding your most recent traffic stop. In incidents beginning with something relatively minor small like Improper Lane Usage (ILU), the officer might have suspected DUI and had no proof. Upon pulling you over, police may have accumulated more evidence to support a DUI charge. Cops notoriously watch the outer walls of the tires on a passenger vehicle waiting for them to cross one line or another, using a minor alleged infraction as the basis for the stop. In many cases, even the ILU is not enforceable but was merely the basis for conducting the stop in the first place. Once the initial stop occurs, officers use other clues to build a DUI case, including:
- Slurred speech;
- Alcohol odor;
- Slow reaction times;
- Sweating; and
- Glassy eyes.
Did the Officer Behave Improperly?
If you are facing DUI charges and believe the officer used improper protocol to obtain evidence, it is important that you communicate these concerns with a proven and aggressive attorney. Officers create reports at the end of each incident, and through the use of dash cameras and body cameras, the truth is often discoverable.
Contact an experienced criminal defense attorney in Joliet to discuss your case today. Call 815-740-4025 to schedule your free consultation at the Law Office of Jack L. Zaremba and get the help you need.