Can I be pulled over for simply stopping in a street with no traffic and then asked to do field sobriety tests? 3 Answers as of July 08, 2011I was pulled over for making a stop in a street where there was no traffic behind me or in front of me, and I wasn't pulled over for a traffic violation. The officer simply asked me, " Why did you stop back there"? I explained to him that I had just picked my cousin up from a nearby bar because he was too impaired to drive, and that the reason I stopped was to help him buckle in his seatbelt. I was then asked to get out of the vehicle. The officer gave me some field sobriety tests. I passed the first one he gave me with flying colors but I must have misunderstood his directions on the second one and he arrested me for DWI. He asked me to blow into a Breathalyzer but I politely refused because I know from some criminal justice classes I had taken in college that those tests can be inaccurate and can be concrete evidence against you. What would you say are my chances of beating this case? Please help me. I’m super stressed out about this, I have done nothing wrong.
Reeves Law Firm, P.C. | Roy L. Reeves
It is virtually impossible to give you odds or "chances" if you will of winning or loosing a case even with as much detail as you have provided here. That said, your case looks great. There is no evidence of any crime other than a cop's opinion which is based on one test that is subjectively graded by the cop - the Criminal Justice classes have paid off, you are dead on correct in your assessment. I would recommend you set an appointment and bring your DIC24 and any other papers you have ASAP. You have 10 days to file a request for a hearing on the automatic driver's license revocation. The ALR hearing is an opportunity to cross examine the officer and lock him down on why he stopped you before some young prosecutor explains to the cop that in order to arrest you, there has to be a lawful stop and a lawful stop must be based on reasonable suspicion (which as you know from class is basically something the officer can explain to justify the stop and further actions). You want the cop to testify at the ALR where there is no prosecutor with a desire to add one more conviction in the win column to "help" this officer remember the details.
Answer Applies to: Texas
Cynthia Henley, Lawyer | Cynthia Henley
Whether or not you can "beat" the case depends on way too many factors that cannot be summarized in a little answer. You appearance on the video, if one was made, is a HUGE factor. Can the officer stop you for stopping in the roadway for no apparent reason? Yes. He can stop you because stopping in a moving lane of traffic is not legal, even if you are not impeding traffic. He can stop you because of welfare concerns - because what you did was not normal and he was concerned about your welfare. Once he stopped you, if he smelled alcohol on your breath, if your speech was slurred, or if there was any other reason that he thought you might be impaired, he could conduct an investigation which includes field sobriety tests and offering you a breath test. You need to hire a lawyer ASAP. There are driver's license issues at stake with strict time deadlines. You must request a hearing on your administrative license revocation matter within 15 days or your license will be suspended automatically on the 40th day after your arrest for a period of 6 months because you refused the breath test. Many lawyers use this hearing to conduct discovery on the DWI charge - to see the officer testify, etc. - to help make a decision on how to proceed on the DWI.
Answer Applies to: Texas