Most traffic cases involve a stop of a moving motor vehicle. In cases such as DUI / DWI and driving on a suspended license, the stop itself is critical to the government’s case against you.
I’ll save you from the technical legal points. Here’s the gist: The U.S. Constitution guarantees us the right to be free from unreasonable searches and seizures. A traffic stop is a seizure. Thus, to be lawful, the stop has to be reasonable.
Why does that matter? Any evidence obtained from an illegal stop can be kept out of your trial. It’s called “fruit of the poisonous tree.” If we can show that the officer’s stop of your car was illegal, we might be able to beat your charge completely.
For DUI cases, any field sobriety tests you took, statements you made, or the actual breath test results would be tainted evidence. They all resulted from the stop of your car.
In driving on suspended cases, the officer typically pulls you over and then determines that you were suspended. And many of my clients admit to being suspended (which you shouldn’t do! – stay quiet!). If we successfully challenge the stop, this evidence couldn’t come in against you.
What’s the rule for making a valid stop? Generally, the police can stop a vehicle when they have “reasonable articulable suspicion” that the driver has committed a traffic or criminal offense.
Exactly what that means can be elusive. The rule essentially requires the officer to have more than a hunch that you’re doing something wrong. They need to be able to testify that there was something suspicious about the vehicle.
Due to this confusing standard, we have to analyze each case separately. During your initial call with me, I’ll find out the details about the stop. If there is something that could help us challenge the stop, we’ll definitely work on that together. Beating the stop could beat the charge.
Photo by MikeWebkist
Free consultation. Call me: 540.318.5824.
I provide free consultations for traffic tickets and misdemeanors in my area. If I can't help, I'll do my best to connect you with someone who can.
Free book for you
If you want more answers about your DWI case, grab a free copy of my book. We'll send it right over for free.
My book is packed full of concrete tips and information that will immediately help you with your Virginia DUI / DWI charge. It's not a puff piece that I paid someone else to write. It's filled with tips that I use to help my clients. You can grab your copy right now.
More about DUI / DWI...
- Is Your Lawyer Waiving Your Rights?!
- How Does Ignition Interlock Work? [video]
- Will you get Jail Time for a DWI With a Blood Alcohol Content Over .15?
- Can The Police Pull You Over For a Pine Tree Air Freshener?
- Points In Time For A DWI [Infographic]
- How do You Fight a DWI Second Offense in Virginia?
- I’m Drunk Right Now. What Rights am I Losing?
- What Statements Could Hurt You During a DWI Stop?
- Announcing The First Andrew Flusche Scholarship Contest
- If I Refuse to Take the Breath Test Can They Still Take my Blood Anyway in Virginia?