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Criminal Defense Lawyer in Denver Explains Probable Cause in DUI Cases


August 9, 2017

Police officers do not have the power to pull over anyone that they desire. In order to lawfully pull someone over, a police officer must have probable cause that the driver has broken the law. Probable cause means the police officer has enough evidence to reasonably believe that you have violated a law. Here’s what you need to know about probable cause in DUI cases according to John Buckley, a criminal defense lawyer in Denver:

Erratic Driving Could Be Probable Cause

Police officers closely watch drivers on the road to look for signs that a driver is intoxicated. If a driver seems to have trouble staying within one lane, fails to use his turning signals, stops abruptly, or makes narrow or wide turns, police officers could use this as probable cause to pull him over. Erratic driving may indicate intoxication so this is often how police officers justify pulling drivers over for a DUI stop. Learn how police identify drunk drivers through signs of impairment.

Criminal Defense Lawyers Can Fight Probable Cause

Police officers cannot pull you over without probable cause, so if you believe that a police officer did not have probable cause to pull you over, then you should let your attorney know immediately. An attorney may be able to fight the charges that you face by proving the police officer had no right to pull you over in the first place. This can be challenging to prove, but it’s not impossible, especially if there were witnesses or surveillance cameras that support your side of the story. If you successfully prove that the officer did not have probable cause to pull you over, the entire case may be thrown out.

Police Officers Will Continue to Look for Probable Cause

If you are pulled over for a traffic violation, the police officer will continue to observe you to look for signs that you are intoxicated. For example, if you are slurring your speech or having a hard time keeping your eyes open, the police officer may use this as probable cause to test you for or charge you with DUI. Likewise, if the police officer smells alcohol on your breath or in your vehicle, this could also be used as probable cause.

Accidents Can Be Probable Cause

If you get into an accident, a police officer can use this as probable cause. In this situation, the police officer is allowed to pull over to the scene of the accident and make contact with the drivers even if he did not witness the accident. Hopefully, you never find yourself in this situation, but if you do, it can be very difficult to fight that the officer did not have probable cause.

If you are arrested and charged with DUI, seek legal representation from the Law Office of John Buckley right away. Our attorneys work tirelessly to defend your rights and ensure you receive the best legal representation possible. Contact John L. Buckley as soon as possible to schedule a legal consultation regarding your case.