Can I be arrested because of supposed objective symptoms? 71 Answers as of June 14, 2013

Can I be arrested because of supposed objective symptoms? The cop only supposed I was drunk after talking to me.

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Cornish, Crowley, Rockafellow, & Sartz, PLLC
Cornish, Crowley, Rockafellow, & Sartz, PLLC | Jacob Peter Sartz IV
If you need specific legal advice for your particular circumstances, I encourage you to privately consult with a lawyer. If you are charged with an offense and cannot afford to pay for your own defense, the court may appoint you an attorney payable at the public's expense. You have a right to counsel. The prosecutor probably has more proofs than that. However, if the stop was not valid, it may be grounds to file a motion to suppress the evidence. Ultimately, it depends on the circumstances. Further, if the prosecutor is just relying on "objective symptoms," it may be difficult for them to prove guilt beyond a reasonable doubt. However, ultimately, guilt or innocence is a matter for a judge or jury if the matter ends up at a trial. I'd advise you to either retain an attorney or request a court-appointed public defender if you cannot afford to pay for your own defense.
Answer Applies to: Michigan
Replied: 7/20/2012
Edward  D. Dowling IV Attorney at Law
Edward D. Dowling IV Attorney at Law | Edward D. Dowling IV
Yes you can if based on the officer's observation of you he believes you are intoxicated or impaired by alcohol and/or drugs.
Answer Applies to: New York
Replied: 6/21/2012
Michael Breczinski
Michael Breczinski | Michael Breczinski
Yes.
Answer Applies to: Michigan
Replied: 6/14/2013
Law Office of Phillip Weiser
Law Office of Phillip Weiser | Phillip L. Weiser
Yes, the observations made by a law enforcement officer are necessarily objective and you can be charged based upon his interpretations of those observations.
Answer Applies to: Kansas
Replied: 5/23/2012
Glass Defense Firm
Glass Defense Firm | Jason M. Glass
Yes, it happens all the time. You do not have to give a breath sample and be over the legal limit in order to be charged with a DUI as long as the officer believes that you were under the influence. This means the observations he makes at the roadside will be used against you.
Answer Applies to: West Virginia
Replied: 5/22/2012
    LEATHERS LAW FIRM
    LEATHERS LAW FIRM | A. Wade Leathers, Sr.
    He will need probable cause to believe you were intoxicated. If he objectively determines you are intoxicated, he can arrest. But being intoxicated alone is not against the law, unless you are underage. Was the charge DUI, Public Intoxication, disorderly conduct, etc.? It depends on the facts at the time of arrest.
    Answer Applies to: Alabama
    Replied: 5/22/2012
    Salladay Law Office | Lance Salladay
    The unfortunate fact is that you can be arrested on just about any suspicion- but the real question is can they prove the charge without substantial evidence. The police look for such objective signs as slurred speech, glassy eyes, unsteady or poor balance etc. so all of those things could lead to a suspicion or even probable cause for an arrest- but proving it may be much more difficult. You would be wise to get an attorney.
    Answer Applies to: Idaho
    Replied: 5/22/2012
    Germaine & Blaszka, P.A.
    Germaine & Blaszka, P.A. | Donald L. Blaszka, Jr.
    Based upon the very limited amount of facts that you provided, I cannot give any kind of answer to your question - you should contact an experienced DWI/DUI in NH to schedule a consultation to review the facts and circumstances of your case.
    Answer Applies to: New Hampshire
    Replied: 5/22/2012
    Law Office of Christopher G Humphrey PC | Christopher G Humphrey
    If the officer believes you to be a danger to yourself or others, or that you have violated any city or state ordinance while in his presence, he or she may arrest you upon probable cause.
    Answer Applies to: Wyoming
    Replied: 5/22/2012
    Thomas J. Tomko Attorney At law
    Thomas J. Tomko Attorney At law | Thomas J. Tomko
    For an arrest, there needs to be probable cause. So if what the officer observed amounted to probable cause, then the answer is yes. Of course, the details of the observations would need to be considered.
    Answer Applies to: Michigan
    Replied: 5/22/2012
    Alvin Lundgren | Alvin Lundgren
    Yes you can be arrested, however, the burden is on the State to prove you were guilty.
    Answer Applies to: Utah
    Replied: 5/22/2012
    Law Office of James A Schoenberger
    Law Office of James A Schoenberger | James A Schoenberger
    Yes, observations of law enforcement can constitute probable cause in a DUI stop.
    Answer Applies to: Washington
    Replied: 5/22/2012
    Law Office of Brian K. Wanerman
    Law Office of Brian K. Wanerman | Brian K. Wanerman
    Police only need "probable cause" to arrest. In practice, this is a ridiculously low standard. All the cop really has to say is that you "appeared intoxicated" to arrest you. Conviction is another thing entirely. To convict you, the prosecution must prove each and every element of the charge beyond a reasonable doubt. The mere testimony of the cop that you appeared intoxicated should not be enough.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 5/22/2012
    Nichols Law Firm
    Nichols Law Firm | Michael J. Nichols
    Most officers perform standardized field sobriety tests and a portable breath test. These are also somewhat subjective.
    Answer Applies to: Michigan
    Replied: 5/22/2012
    Law Office of Richard Williams
    Law Office of Richard Williams | Richard Williams
    A police officer might be able to arrest you for either objective or subjective symptoms anytime he feels he has probable cause.
    Answer Applies to: Alabama
    Replied: 5/22/2012
    James M. Osak, P.C.
    James M. Osak, P.C. | James M. Osak
    YES. If cop has probable cause that you were either intoxicated (alcohol) or impaired (alcohol OR drugs OR BOTH) AND was driving a vehicle, then he can arrest you for FURTHER TESTING (breath, blood, urine). Did you SLUR your speech? Did your breath smell of alcohol? Did cop smell marijuana on you or in car? DID THEY TEST YOU IN THE JAIL? DID THEY CHARGE YOU? This is interesting!
    Answer Applies to: Michigan
    Replied: 5/22/2012
    Law Office of Jared C. Winter
    Law Office of Jared C. Winter | Jared C. Winter
    If the cop had probable cause to believe you had committed a crime (if it had to do with alcohol, the crime is probably either PC 647(f) or VC 23152(a/b)) then yes, he/she can arrest you. Objective symptoms usually add up to probable cause for arrest. Whether or not they add up to proof beyond a reasonable doubt for a conviction is another issue. You should consult with a criminal defense attorney in your area.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 5/22/2012
    Law Offices of Steven R. Hunter | Steven Hunter
    Police observations are admissible evidence. Most DUI arrests begin with observations, then proceed to field sobriety tests, then, if warranted, a breathalyzer test.
    Answer Applies to: Illinois
    Replied: 5/22/2012
    Lykins Law | Gerald Lykins
    I think you mean subjective observations of the police officer. A police is trained to make observations. And an arrest can made upon subjective observations alone.
    Answer Applies to: Michigan
    Replied: 5/22/2012
    Law Office of Jared Altman
    Law Office of Jared Altman | Jared Altman
    Yes. You can be.
    Answer Applies to: New York
    Replied: 5/22/2012
    Lawrence Lewis
    Lawrence Lewis | Lawrence Lewis, PC
    If the cop was a trained DUI officer, with years of experienced what he sees actually counts.
    Answer Applies to: Georgia
    Replied: 5/22/2012
    Nelson & Lawless
    Nelson & Lawless | Terry Nelson
    CAN they arrest and charge you? Of course. Whether you can be convicted is a different question. It is ALWAYS the officer's opinion and observation used. The Field Sobriety Tests are normally used to give objective weight to that opinion, but they are not mandatory. You will be surprised to find how detailed the police report is concerning your observed inebriated and impaired condition. Of course I can help you fight the criminal charges and get the best outcome possible. When arrested or charged with any crime, the proper questions are, can any evidence obtained in a test, search or confession be used against you, can you be convicted, and what can you do? Raise all appropriate defenses with whatever witnesses, evidence and sympathies are available for legal arguments, for evidence suppression or other motions, or for trial. If you don't know how to represent yourself effectively against an experienced prosecutor intending to convict, then hire an attorney that does, who will try to get a dismissal, diversion program, charge reduction, or other decent outcome through plea bargain, or take it to trial if appropriate. A little free advice: When arrested for DUI, whether alcohol or drugs, then upon release from jail or booking the defendant is given documents that include a notice that you have only ten days to file a request with DMV for a hearing on an appeal of an automatic one year suspension of your license imposed by DMV. That is separate and runs consecutively with any suspension that may be imposed by the court. Contact DMV and do so, timely, then appear at your scheduled DMV appeal hearing and present any supporting evidence and testimony. If you don't know how to do these things effectively, then hire an attorney that does.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 5/22/2012
    Law Office of Eric Sterkenburg
    Law Office of Eric Sterkenburg | Eric Sterkenburg
    You can be arrested for drunk in public or DUI based upon the observations of a qualified officer. You cannot be charged or found guilty of having a blood alcohol level of 0.08 or higher without a blood, breath urine test. Think about it. If you are under the influence of a drug it will not show up on a breath test. Under those conditions the officer has to relay on his training in typical signs of impairment and physical tags. This includes observations of the eyes.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 5/22/2012
    Law Office of Jeff Yeh
    Law Office of Jeff Yeh | Jeff Yeh
    Yes you can. Obviously the less evidence the better (like FTS's, breath tests, blood test...etc.), but they can still arrest and even charge you with just objective symptoms. But that makes the case much easier to defend for an experienced DUI specialist.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 5/22/2012
    Clinton Law Office | Michael Clinton
    That is often the basis for the arrest.
    Answer Applies to: Washington
    Replied: 5/22/2012
    Law Office of Michael R. Garber
    Law Office of Michael R. Garber | Michael R. Garber
    I'm not sure what you mean by objective symptons, but I assume you mean slurred speech, blood shot eyes, unable to stand without swaying, possibly failure of standard field sobriety tests. Yes, you can be arrested with those symptoms. If fact that's how nearly everyone is arrested for DWI.
    Answer Applies to: Louisiana
    Replied: 5/22/2012
    R. Jason de Groot, P.A
    R. Jason de Groot, P.A | R. Jason de Groot
    Yes, objective matters are what the cop wrote in the police report. His eyes were bloodshot, his speech was slurred, his gait was staggered, and there was a strong odor of alcohol emanating from him.
    Answer Applies to: Florida
    Replied: 5/22/2012
    Mark Thiessen, Attorney at Law
    Mark Thiessen, Attorney at Law | Mark Thiessen
    That's the whole problem with DWI, it's up to the police officers subjective opinion. Hire a good DWI attorney and fight it with everything you got.
    Answer Applies to: Texas
    Replied: 5/22/2012
    Hynum Law Office, LLC
    Hynum Law Office, LLC | G. Wayne Hynum
    The officer does have probable cause to arrest you if he observes behavior typical of intoxication such as slurred speech, inability to walk straight, etc.
    Answer Applies to: Mississippi
    Replied: 5/22/2012
    Beaulier Law Office
    Beaulier Law Office | Maury Beaulier
    An officer may form a basis for probable cause to arrest based on the totality of the circumstances which means he/she may rely on their observations and experience. The defendant may challenge the basis for the stop or whether there was probable cause to arrest as part of the defenses in the case.
    Answer Applies to: Minnesota
    Replied: 5/22/2012
    Larry K. Dunn & Associates | Larry K. Dunn
    A police officer is required to have 'probable cause' to make an arrest. In most instances, police officers are trained to confirm or dispel their suspicion as to a person's state of sobriety by performing standardized field sobriety tests certified by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administratrion. Objective symptoms without confirmation rarely would be considered sufficient to meet the requirements of 'probable cause' for an arrest.
    Answer Applies to: Nevada
    Replied: 5/22/2012
    William L. Welch, III Attorney | William L. Welch, III
    Yes, if the officer has probable cause, which is ultimately decided by the judge, that your driving was impaired the law supports the arrest. Probable cause is much less than proof beyond a reasonable doubt. It is the officer's opinion based on experience.
    Answer Applies to: Maryland
    Replied: 5/22/2012
    Reza Athari & Associates, PLLC | Seth L. Reszko
    The test for whether you were properly arrested is whether the officer had probable cause to arrest you. Generally, some objective standards can be accomplished through an observation, clothes, speech, odor of breath, eyes, etc. The officer could also have observed your driving. With these objective tests, the officer can have probable cause to believe that you were under the influence of alcohol to test you by blood or breath. If you were not tested, the Nevada statutes allow a conviction if the State can prove that you drove impaired through witness testimony.
    Answer Applies to: Nevada
    Replied: 5/22/2012
    Law Firm of Martin & Wallentine
    Law Firm of Martin & Wallentine | Jerry Lee Wallentine Jr.
    An arrest requires probable cause.
    Answer Applies to: Kansas
    Replied: 5/22/2012
    Gary Moore, Attorney at Law
    Gary Moore, Attorney at Law | Gary Moore
    Every thing that humans perceive is filtered through their limited powers of perception. Every human observation is subjective, by definition. An officer's subjective perceptions of a suspect can be a proper basis for his arresting him for dui/dwi.
    Answer Applies to: New Jersey
    Replied: 5/22/2012
    H. Scott Basham, Attorney at Law, P.C. | H. Scott Basham
    You can be arrested if the cop has probable cause you have committed a crime. Probable cause for DUI can be established by means other than the portable breathalyzer.
    Answer Applies to: Georgia
    Replied: 5/22/2012
    Law Offices of Phil Hache
    Law Offices of Phil Hache | Phil Hache
    Yes, although it may be possible to challenge the lawfulness of that arrest, as well as other elements of the DUI charge.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 5/22/2012
    Conway Law Pllc.
    Conway Law Pllc. | B. L. Conway
    Yes.
    Answer Applies to: Virginia
    Replied: 6/14/2013
    The Short Law Group, P.C.
    The Short Law Group, P.C. | Shawn Kollie
    A police officer can stop an individual when they have Probable Cause that a traffic infraction occurred (failing to maintain a lane, speeding, not signaling etc...) or when they have Reasonable Suspicion of a crime (DUI, reckless driving, etc.). The officer may have made an unlawful stop that would then bring into question any further evidence that the officer obtained from you. Talk to an experience Oregon DUI Lawyer about the specifics of your case.
    Answer Applies to: Oregon
    Replied: 5/22/2012
    The Law Offices of Harold L. Wallin | Harold L. Wallin
    Yes, you can be arrested based upon the officer's observations. Whether it will be sufficient to convict you is another question.
    Answer Applies to: Illinois
    Replied: 5/22/2012
    Timothy J. Thill P.C.
    Timothy J. Thill P.C. | Timothy J. Thill
    Obviously, the officer has his reasons to arrest you, perhaps by observing the odor of alcohol on your breath, the manner in which you sopke, and the condition of your eyes. Cops just do not generally arrest people for no reason at all. You may have committed a traffic violation which drew the officer's attention to your vehicle, and after conversing with you, he formed an expert opinion that you were under the influence.
    Answer Applies to: Illinois
    Replied: 5/22/2012
    Law Offices of John Carney
    Law Offices of John Carney | John Carney
    If the officer had reasonable cause to believe that you were drinking he has the right to question you, request field sobriety tests, ask you to submit to a portable breathalizer, and if you fail he can arrest you and take you to the station house where he will read you the DWI Refusal Warnings. They inform you that if you refuse to take the test your license will be revoked for 6 months. Most people do not know enough to call an attorney to get advice on whether or not they should take the breath test and they also admit to drinking. You should never answer the questions of anyone unless you have an attorney present.
    Answer Applies to: New York
    Replied: 5/22/2012
    Law Office of Michael E. Dailey
    Law Office of Michael E. Dailey | Michael E. Dailey
    From the way you have phrased the question it would seem you have already been arrested for the offense so obviously the answer is yes, you can be arrested. The question should be can you be convicted. The scenario refers to objective symptoms but I suspect you may be referring to the determinations made from the standard field sobriety test observations which are actually rather subjective in their interpretation by the officer. It can include an oder of alcohol on the breath and a slurring of speech noticed while talking. These, along with other observations, are sufficient to cause an arrest and provide the opportunity to take a breath test to determine the existence of alcohol and other chemical tests to determine if other substances are present.
    Answer Applies to: Missouri
    Replied: 5/22/2012
    The Law Office of Harry E. Hudson, Jr.
    The Law Office of Harry E. Hudson, Jr. | Harry E. Hudson, Jr.
    Yes.Probable cause for arrest does not require a quantum of evidence equal to beyond a reasonable doubt. enough if a reasonable and cautious man would think you intoxicated.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 5/22/2012
    Robert Valles and Associates P.C.
    Robert Valles and Associates P.C. | Robert Valles Jr.
    Yes you can be arrested.
    Answer Applies to: Texas
    Replied: 5/22/2012
    Hamblin Law Office | Sally Hamblin
    As long as the officer observed behavior that mirrors one has been drinking, yes.
    Answer Applies to: Michigan
    Replied: 5/22/2012
    Law Office of Richard Southard
    Law Office of Richard Southard | Richard C Southard
    In New York under VTL 1192.3 you may be found guilty of Driving While Intoxicated based on the observations and opinions of the arresting officer. These usually include: red, watery eyes, slurred speech, unsteady gait, strong odor of alcohol on breath and any erratic driving.
    Answer Applies to: New York
    Replied: 5/22/2012
    Attorney at Law
    Attorney at Law | Lance Daniel
    Along with other factors, yes. All the officer needs is "reasonable" suspicion. Will you be convicted? That is an entirely different matter.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 5/22/2012
    Law Office of Brendan M. Kelly
    Law Office of Brendan M. Kelly | Brendan M. Kelly
    Yes.
    Answer Applies to: Nebraska
    Replied: 6/14/2013
    Clos, Russell & Wirth, P.C. | Gary A. Russell
    A legal arrest can only be made upon probable cause. If the arrest is not supported by probable cause, then the arrest can be challenged in court. If the court determines that the arrest was not based upon probable cause (and there was no other underlying reason for the arrest, i.e., an arrest warrant for an unrelated matter), then evidence obtained as a result of the arrest can be suppressed and the charge can be dismissed.
    Answer Applies to: Michigan
    Replied: 5/22/2012
    Prater, Duncan & Craig, LLC
    Prater, Duncan & Craig, LLC | John D Duncan
    Yes. The question of why you were stopped (on the street as a pedestrian, in a moving vehicle) may have an impact on whether any of your conversation can be used against you, but a police officer can use his power of observation to determine whether probable cause for arrest exists at any time during his contact with you. Whether that information is admissible in court hinges on how he made contact, and for how long. It sounds like you need a lawyer to help you navigate through this case. I suggest you find counsel familiar with DUI to assist.
    Answer Applies to: Georgia
    Replied: 5/22/2012
    Law office of Robert D. Scott | Robert Scott
    The officer can use objective facts to support his conclusion of impairment, such as the smell of alcohol, clothing disarray, unsteady walking, slurred speech, bloodshot eyes, general demeanor, etc.
    Answer Applies to: Maryland
    Replied: 5/22/2012
    Brown, Paindiris & Scott, LLP
    Brown, Paindiris & Scott, LLP | Simon J. Lebo
    An individual can be arrested if they fail a field sobriety test, so the short answer is yes.
    Answer Applies to: Connecticut
    Replied: 5/22/2012
    Law Office of Gregory Crain | Gregory Crain
    Yes.
    Answer Applies to: Arkansas
    Replied: 6/14/2013
    Law Office of James J. Rosenberger | James Joseph Rosenberger
    You can be arrested under those circumstances if, for example, during your course of conversing with him you slurred your speech and/or he smelled alcohol on your breath. It may be enough for an arrest but other factors including his observation of your driving, field sobriety tests etc. play a part in the decision to arrest. That's not to say that you'll be convicted of DUI. That standard is significantly higher and can only be analyzed with more information (police reports etc.).
    Answer Applies to: Washington
    Replied: 5/22/2012
    Miller & Harrison, LLC
    Miller & Harrison, LLC | David Harrison
    You can always be arrested by the officer. The real question is if the officers observation are sufficient to prove the charges against you beyond a reasonable doubt.
    Answer Applies to: Colorado
    Replied: 5/22/2012
    The Law Office of James McKain
    The Law Office of James McKain | James McKain
    You can be arrested "legal" any time an officer has probable cause to believe you have committed a crime. The question is, can you be convicted beyond a reasonable doubt based only on observable symptoms?
    Answer Applies to: Washington
    Replied: 5/22/2012
    Pearson, Butler, & Carson, PLLC
    Pearson, Butler, & Carson, PLLC | Matthew R. Kober
    An officer can arrest you anytime the officer subjectively believes there is probable cause that you committed a crime. In the context of DUI, it is typical for an officer to perform standard field sobriety tests. If the officer doesn't, it provide grounds to argue that you weren't drunk etc to get the case dismissed or negotiate a favorable plea agreement.
    Answer Applies to: Utah
    Replied: 5/22/2012
    Vargas Law Office LLC | Ronnie Ismael Vargas
    Possibly. An attorney would need to view the evidence provided by the prosecution to determine whether they had probable cause.
    Answer Applies to: Wisconsin
    Replied: 5/22/2012
    Ellman and Ellman PC
    Ellman and Ellman PC | Kevin Ellmann
    You can certainly be arrested, but to get you convicted on such evidence, if you have the assistance of an experienced DUI defense attorney, will be very difficult for the prosecution.
    Answer Applies to: Colorado
    Replied: 5/22/2012
    SPITAL AND ASSOCIATES
    SPITAL AND ASSOCIATES | SAMUEL SPITAL
    A law enforcement officer has to have probable cause to believe a crime was committed to make a valid arrest. You would be well-advised to retain an experienced DUI lawyer to develop the strategy as well as a compelling defense and offense. The procedures involved in making an arrest can often be more important than the actual elements of a crime. Do not risk being unable to obtain or keep a state board professional license; moreover, you want to maintain your current employment, avoid challenges in seeking future employment, insurance, etc. There are multiple issues that arise in a DUI case.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 5/22/2012
    Law Office of Edward J. Blum
    Law Office of Edward J. Blum | Edward J. Blum
    Yes. If that is enough to give the cop probable cause to arrest. Then he can rely on that.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 5/22/2012
    Connell-Savela
    Connell-Savela | Jason Savela
    All the cop needs is probable cause of impairment to the slightest degree plus evidence of driving to arrest.
    Answer Applies to: Colorado
    Replied: 5/22/2012
    Leonard A. Kaanta, P.C. | Leonard A. Kaanta
    If after talking to you the police officer believed that you exhibted the signs of drinking such as your speech was slurred, he had probable cause to arrest you.
    Answer Applies to: Michigan
    Replied: 5/22/2012
    Healan Law Offices
    Healan Law Offices | William D. Healan, III
    Yes, you can certainly be arrested, but if you have medical conditions or other things that could explain your behavior, you could have a defense to the charges.
    Answer Applies to: Georgia
    Replied: 5/22/2012
    Rhoades & Miller, LLP
    Rhoades & Miller, LLP | M. Jason Rhoades
    There must be probable cause to arrest you. However, officers often determine probable cause for a DUI through speaking with the individual. I don't know your exact circumstances, so it is hard to give a more complete answer.
    Answer Applies to: Georgia
    Replied: 5/22/2012
    Myles Hahn III Attorney at Law | Myles Hahn III
    The officer can testify against you about his opinion of whether you were under the influence of alcohol or a drug or not and why he believes so.
    Answer Applies to: Illinois
    Replied: 5/22/2012
    Law Office of Russell A. Warren
    Law Office of Russell A. Warren | Russell A. Warren
    Yes you can - they do not need to have a breath alcohol amount to make the charge. "Indicia" of intoxication is enough.
    Answer Applies to: Missouri
    Replied: 5/22/2012
    Mary W Craig P.C. | Mary W Craig
    Yes, you can be arrested on probable cause. It's up to the state, then, to prove the allegations.
    Answer Applies to: Alabama
    Replied: 5/22/2012
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