How do I know if my DUI arrest was legal? 63 Answers as of October 26, 2011

I was pulled over for a DUI and the officer did not say I had violated any traffic laws. He just suspected that I had been drinking, because according to him I was swerving in the lanes. How do I know if this is legal? When is a cop legally allowed to pull you over and charge you for a DUI?

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Edward  D. Dowling IV Attorney at Law
Edward D. Dowling IV Attorney at Law | Edward D. Dowling IV
The police need probable cause to believe the vehicle is being used in a crime or its occupants are involved in criminal activity or the vehicle violated some vehicle and traffic law. If the police observed you swerving in the lane they can stop you as they did. However I would need all the details to determine if the police did anything in violation of your rights.
Answer Applies to: New York
Replied: 10/26/2011
Khayoumi Law Firm
Khayoumi Law Firm | Salim A. Khayoumi
By hiring an experienced DUI/DWI attorney from your jurisdiction. Or if pro se (not recommended), by reading your jurisdiction's case law regarding reasonable suspicion & probable cause. Swerving "within" a lane usually is not enough to establish reasonable suspicion to stop a motorist. Swerving out of your lane (aka straddling the line, tire crossing over the line) may constitute reasonable suspicion for a traffic stop. Establishing R.S. is a very low standard (easier for the cop to prove) compared to probable cause which would be required before an arrest.
Answer Applies to: New Mexico
Replied: 9/8/2011
Law Office of Thomas A. Medford, Jr., PC
Law Office of Thomas A. Medford, Jr., PC | Thomas A. Medford, Jr.
A police officer can stop a motor vehicle if he thinks the the operator is under the influence. I would advise you to seek the services of an attorney who is experienced in the defense of DUI cases.
Answer Applies to: District of Columbia
Replied: 9/2/2011
Law Office of Richard Williams
Law Office of Richard Williams | Richard Williams
A police officer can pull you over for any number of reasons, including swerving, speeding, driving too slowly, headlight or taillight or tag light burned out, failure to signal, no seat belt, no windshield wipers on when raining, no lights on when windshield wipers are on, failure to wear seat belt, and the list goes on and on. Upon being pulled over the police, if they suspect that you have been drinking, will ask about same and if you admit to drinking you will most certainly be ordered to take the field sobriety test.
Answer Applies to: Alabama
Replied: 9/2/2011
Law Offices of John Carney
Law Offices of John Carney | John Carney
The police can stop any vehicle that is committing a traffic violation. If they suspect you of driving while intoxicated they can arrest you. If you blow over a .02 BAC you can be charged with Impaired Operation. If you blow over a .08 BAC you are presumed to be intoxicated. If you refuse the test your license will be suspended for six months and you will be charged with DWI if the officer believes you are intoxicated.
Answer Applies to: New York
Replied: 9/2/2011
    Ramsell & Associates LLC
    Ramsell & Associates LLC | Donald Ramsell
    In Illinois, a police officer can pull a person over for weaving within the lanes if they convince a judge that the swerving appeared to be similar to drunk driving. Some courts disagree with this, so a good lawyer might convince the judge otherwise.
    Answer Applies to: Illinois
    Replied: 9/1/2011
    Michael J. Gardiner, Attorney at Law | Michael Gardiner
    If the officer made the observation claimed he or she could pull you over. It is a brief detention and no warrant is required. If he then made other observations that wereconsistentwith OUI, than he can continue his investigation and if hedevelopsprobable cause to suspect you were OUI, you will find yourself arrested. Such cases can be won, but they are fact intensive. Youshouldbe represented by anattorney.
    Answer Applies to: Rhode Island
    Replied: 9/1/2011
    Law Office of Phillip Weiser
    Law Office of Phillip Weiser | Phillip L. Weiser
    If an officer has reasonable suspicion that a driver is impaired, he may stop that vehicle and investigate. If he said you were weaving while driving, that reason alone is enough to stop you to check your ability to safely drive. The specific facts of your case are important, you should consult with an experienced DUI attorney.
    Answer Applies to: Kansas
    Replied: 8/31/2011
    Thomas J. Tomko Attorney At law
    Thomas J. Tomko Attorney At law | Thomas J. Tomko
    Yes, you can be stopped for suspicion of drunk driving. It has to be based on an articulable suspicion. There does not have to be a connected traffic violation. By case law, weaving within your lane is not weaving and will not alone support a valid reason to stop. If your case falls within this view, then it could be grounds for dismissal.
    Answer Applies to: Michigan
    Replied: 8/31/2011
    Cornish, Crowley, Rockafellow, & Sartz, PLLC
    Cornish, Crowley, Rockafellow, & Sartz, PLLC | Jacob Peter Sartz IV
    I'd recommend you retain an attorney to assist you with this matter or request that the court appoint you one at the public's expense if you cannot afford to retain one. Speaking generally, whether the stop was legal is always a big issue in these types of cases. If a police officer reasonably suspects that a person has committed a traffic violation, whether it's a civil infraction or worse, they may have grounds to pull a driver over. The act of swerving a motor vehicle, especially if the motor vehicle crosses traffic lines, may, on it's own, be a possible civil infraction. However, if the stop was not valid, a timely motion to suppress evidence from the vehicle stop would have a big impact on the outcome of a particular case. I'd recommend you retain an attorney to assist you with this matter. If you cannot afford to retain an attorney, the court may appoint you one at the public's expense.
    Answer Applies to: Michigan
    Replied: 8/31/2011
    Connell-Savela
    Connell-Savela | Jason Savela
    Cops can stop a car if they have reasonable suspicion of DUI or DWAI weaving can be a violation of the law to stay within ones lane and also allow a stop BUT just because there is some weaving, does not mean the person should be pulled over - get the police reports, contact a good DUI attorney - oh, request a DMV hearing within 7 days of being issued at Notice of Revocation (immediate if breath over .08 or refusal, or notified by mail if blood)
    Answer Applies to: Colorado
    Replied: 8/31/2011
    Cynthia Henley, Lawyer
    Cynthia Henley, Lawyer | Cynthia Henley
    When you hire a lawyer, which you must do, the lawyer will review the offense report and other reports to determine if the stop was legal.
    Answer Applies to: Texas
    Replied: 8/31/2011
    Michael Maltby, Attorney at Law
    Michael Maltby, Attorney at Law | Michael Maltby
    If the officer has enough facts to suggest that he may be observing an impaired driver, he/she may stop the driver and check him out. It depends on the facts of each case and ultimately it depends on whether a judge would find that the stop was reasonable under the circumstances. If all you did was swerve in your lane that may not be enough based on case law in this area. I think you need a lawyer for this one!
    Answer Applies to: Washington
    Replied: 8/31/2011
    Anderson Law Office
    Anderson Law Office | Scott L. Anderson
    A DUI case needs to be analyzed thoroughly by an experienced criminal attorney to determine if you have any defenses or not. Please contact an attorney to help you with your case.
    Answer Applies to: Minnesota
    Replied: 8/31/2011
    Law Office of Thomas F. Mueller
    Law Office of Thomas F. Mueller | Thomas Mueller
    Some movement in the lane is permissible, but be prepared for the cop to exaggerate it to justify the stop. You will not recognize the event from what he says. In order to have any chance at getting it thrown out you will need to hire a good lawyer who will get a “dispatch tape " and cross-examine the arresting officer.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 8/31/2011
    Dennis Roberts, a P.C.
    Dennis Roberts, a P.C. | Dennis Roberts
    When they make up a story about weaving across the lines. They then give you a PAS (breath test) and field sobriety test. If you pass you go on your merry way. If you fail you go to jail. If cop testifies you were swerving and you say your weren't, who do you think the Judge will believe.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 8/31/2011
    Andersen Law PLLC
    Andersen Law PLLC | Craig Andersen
    If an officer views a traffic infraction that is enough. If you crossed lanes without signaling that would be enough. Sometimes officers also see things they don't discuss with a suspected drunk driver because the suspects tend to want to argue. Arguments turn into fights and every time a cop is involved in a fight it is an armed conflict. So many times they will see additional indicia of intoxication that they write in their reports. The only sure way to know if your stop or arrest is legal is to hire an attorney and have him or her review the police report.
    Answer Applies to: Washington
    Replied: 8/30/2011
    LynchLaw
    LynchLaw | Michael Thomas Lynch
    As with most cases, it all turns on the facts. The only way to "know" is to have the facts reviewed by your attorney.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 8/30/2011
    Timothy J. Thill P.C.
    Timothy J. Thill P.C. | Timothy J. Thill
    You admit that you were swerving in your lane, this is a violation of the traffic laws, (improper lane usage). This gave the officer probable cause to pull you over. Then, he obviously observed your physical condition, and based on his past experiences and training, came to the conclusion that you were under the influence. My advice is to hire a good defense attorney to review all the evidence, what you have to say, and as important, what the officer had to say about his own observations. Remember, the prosecution has to prove you guilty beyond a reasonable doubt, but the courts and juries generally give greater weight to the officer's evidence.
    Answer Applies to: Illinois
    Replied: 8/30/2011
    Kevin Smith, Attorney at Law
    Kevin Smith, Attorney at Law | Kevin Smith
    Typically, cops will use a minor traffic violation to pull you over, then conduct some field sobriety tests to give themselves more ammunition to make the arrest for DUI. In your case, the swerving in the lanes would have been his reason to pull you over, which is legal. However, the real question in your case is whether he had probable cause for the arrest, which he may not have if you did not perform the field sobriety tests, or if you performed them to standard. You should contact an experienced criminal defense attorney who regularly practices in the area of DUI defense and discuss your case confidentially with him or her.
    Answer Applies to: Connecticut
    Replied: 8/30/2011
    Freeborn Law Offices, P.S.
    Freeborn Law Offices, P.S. | Steve Freeborn
    You don't necessarily have to have violated any traffic laws for an officer to stop you. All an officer needs to make a stop is "probable cause". Certainly "swerving in the lane" establishes probable cause. Once he makes the stop, he can observe your demeanor: blood shot eyes? . odor of alcohol? slurred speech? also your performance on the sobriety tests. Sounds like you may need to hire an attorney. A DUI charge is serious and caries with it substantial fines and jail time.
    Answer Applies to: Washington
    Replied: 8/30/2011
    Jonathan S. Willett Attorney at Law
    Jonathan S. Willett Attorney at Law | Jonathan S. Willett
    Swerving is a reason to pull a driver over.
    Answer Applies to: Colorado
    Replied: 8/30/2011
    Michael R. Nack, Attorney at Law
    Michael R. Nack, Attorney at Law | Michael R. Nack
    There are many reported cases of officers pulling people over because of alleged weaving within their lane of traffic, and the latest case seems to say that the lawfulness of the stop depends upon the totality of the circumstances. As a practical matter it is extremely difficult if not impossible to drive a car in an exactly straight line for any period of time. So we all weave within our lane to a certain extent. But, where the weaving is so severe or repeated that it rises to the level where a law enforcement officer can reasonably find probable and articulable cause to believe that a crime is being committed (DWI, for instance), then the stop will be legal. If you are in this situation, you need to hire the best criminal defense attorney you can afford.
    Answer Applies to: Missouri
    Replied: 8/30/2011
    Law Office of Eric Sterkenburg
    Law Office of Eric Sterkenburg | Eric Sterkenburg
    An officer has to have probable cause to think that a crime is being commented and that the person stopped is involved. Weaving in the lane is probable cause to stop a driver to test for a DUI.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 8/30/2011
    Brucar & Yetter, P.C.
    Brucar & Yetter, P.C. | Wayne Brucar
    An office may legally pull you over when he has probable cause, ie. a basis to believe you have violated or were about to violate a law, municipal ordinance or traffic regulation. Whether there was probable cause in your case would involve an assessment of all the facts involved.
    Answer Applies to: Illinois
    Replied: 8/30/2011
    Law Office of Phillip M. Murphy, II
    Law Office of Phillip M. Murphy, II | Phillip Murphy
    The stop sounds legal. Unfortunately, in Kansas, if they believe they have a reason for pulling you over (even if they don't actually have such a reason, they can pull you over. Further, if they think you're drunk, there is case law that says they can ask for a breathalyzer regardless of how you did on your field sobriety tests. Needless to say, there are times when the standard is very broad. Without knowing more about your specific case, I can't say anything other than that it sounds like it was legal.
    Answer Applies to: Kansas
    Replied: 8/30/2011
    Dunnings Law Firm
    Dunnings Law Firm | Steven Dunnings
    Swerving in between lanes has long been recognized as a legitimate reason for a stop. Legally you are suppose to stay in your lane unless changing a lane. Swerving is neither.
    Answer Applies to: Michigan
    Replied: 8/30/2011
    Mark C. Cogan Law Offices | Mark Cogan
    Anyone facing a criminal charge, especially one that carries the potential consequences of a DUI, needs capable and experienced legal representation. Be smart. Place your case in the hands of the best defense attorney you can find. The answers to your questions will not be found on the Internet.
    Answer Applies to: Oregon
    Replied: 8/30/2011
    Shane Law Office
    Shane Law Office | Robert J. Shane
    A police officer only needs suspicion of criminal activity to justify a traffic stop. This standard is less than probable cause and an observation of an actual traffic violation is not necessary. If you were swerving in the lanes, an officer may be able to justify the stop. It all depends on the circumstances of each case. If the stop was illegal, the evidence obtained as a result of the stop can not be used against you. You should have your case reviewed by an experienced Minnesota DWI lawyer to find the loopholes.
    Answer Applies to: Minnesota
    Replied: 8/30/2011
    Reeves Law Firm, P.C.
    Reeves Law Firm, P.C. | Roy L. Reeves
    The short answer is "it depends". A cop can stop you for any suspected traffic violation, including driving while intoxicated. The question is whether or not he was justified in the stop. If he was not justified in the stop, then the investigation that proceeded (the fact he could smell alcohol; see your eyes; observe your speech, etc) are all invalid as they occurred due to an improper stop and but for the improper stop, the cop would not be in a position to make the investigation. It does not mean the cop could not stop you or that your rights were violated, it means that the arrest is bad and therefore you can get the evidence thrown out and without evidence, you will not be found guilty - you may however have to jump through all the hoops including going to trial, even though your winning is a forgone conclusion in the scenario discussed herein.
    Answer Applies to: Texas
    Replied: 8/30/2011
    Noah A. Bradow, Attorney & Counselor, pllc
    Noah A. Bradow, Attorney & Counselor, pllc | Noah A. Bradow
    Evidence of impaired driving, such as swerving, is grounds to perform a stop of your vehicle. However, if you do not believe the officer is being truthful there are ways to challenge the assertion of the officer and discover evidence that may be helpful to your case.
    Answer Applies to: Michigan
    Replied: 8/30/2011
    Law Office of Ernest T. Biando, LLC | Ernest Biando
    Police officers only need a reasonable suspicion to pull you over for DUI-I have defended numerous clients for DUI's and find that motions made to supress evidence work very well.
    Answer Applies to: Massachusetts
    Replied: 8/30/2011
    San Diego DUI Law Center
    San Diego DUI Law Center | Rick Mueller
    Weaving may or may not be illegal under the key cases of People v. Perez and U.S. v. Colin. Your DUI attorney will investigate upon review & analysis of the documentary evidence.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 8/30/2011
    John Segelbaum, P.S.
    John Segelbaum, P.S. | John Segelbaum
    A police office can stop a vehicle for a traffic infraction or if there is a reasonable suspicion that the driver is committing a crime, such as DUI. Whether swerving is sufficient depends on all the facts and circumstances. That is why you challenge the stop in court by filing a suppression motion. If the stop is ruled illegal, all evidence derived from the stop is excluded.
    Answer Applies to: Washington
    Replied: 8/30/2011
    Palumbo and Kosofsky
    Palumbo and Kosofsky | Michael Palumbo
    A cop is allowed to pull you over and arrest you for DWI in the exact scenero that you describe. Now, you need defense counsel on your side. Give us a call to discuss retaining our firm to represent you against these charges.
    Answer Applies to: New York
    Replied: 8/30/2011
    Beaulier Law Office
    Beaulier Law Office | Maury Beaulier
    There are many challenges to the DWI. Reasonable Suspicion. The officer must have reasonable suspicion to believe a specific crime has been committed in order to stop a person. If that reasonable suspicion is lacking the stop and the ticket may be invalid; Probable Cause to arrest and charge. The officer must make sufficient observations to form a basis for probable cause to believe that you were operating a vehicle while intoxicated. Oftentimes, officers perform field sobriety tests incorrectly making the arrest invalid; Procedures at the Station. The officer must follow very specific procedures at the station including reading and recording an Implied Consent Advisory that informs you that you have a right to a lawyer. If any of the steps are omitted, the charges may be dismissed; Test Procedures. Testing methods to determine blood alcohol concentrations are imperfect at best. Like any scientific method, any test result has a margin of error. If the machinery is not properly maintained and even if it is properly maintained, the test results may vary from true Blood Alcohol Concentration. A sufficient variation may result in a reduce charge or no charge.
    Answer Applies to: Minnesota
    Replied: 8/30/2011
    Watkins Law Office
    Watkins Law Office | Bob Watkins
    Swerving inside a lane is not always reasonable suspicion that a crime is being committed and thus a basis to stop the car; though it can be. You should meet with a lawyer.
    Answer Applies to: New Hampshire
    Replied: 8/30/2011
    Law Office of Jared Altman
    Law Office of Jared Altman | Jared Altman
    You are asking a very big question. The police can stop your car and question you if they have an "articulable reason". That means it can't be based on a hunch or a whim. If you crossed the yellow line, that is sufficient. If you touched the white "fog" line on the right hand side of your lane once or twice, that is not sufficient. So, the analysis is very fact specific to each circumstance. Swerving alone becomes a question of degree. Did you swerve or were you driving erratically. You can only get an answer to that by cross examining the officer on the stand. So, this may be a case where, at least at the outset, you will want to dig your heals in and fight back with motions and hearings.
    Answer Applies to: New York
    Replied: 8/30/2011
    Law Office of James A Schoenberger
    Law Office of James A Schoenberger | James A Schoenberger
    If you were weaving and your tire crossed the lane line more than once, you were properly stopped for a suspicion of DUI.
    Answer Applies to: Washington
    Replied: 8/30/2011
    Craig W. Elhart, P.C.
    Craig W. Elhart, P.C. | Craig Elhart
    If the officer observed you swerving in the lanes, he could pull you over to investigate possible drunk driving. If you question the legality of the stop you should have an attorney review the police report.
    Answer Applies to: Michigan
    Replied: 8/30/2011
    Law Office of Kathryn L. Hudson
    Law Office of Kathryn L. Hudson | Kathryn L. Hudson
    The standard is reasonableness. If the police officer's suspicion you had been drinking appeared reasonable the stop was legal. If you tested positive for alcohol that would tend to bolster the police officers' reasonable suspicion.
    Answer Applies to: Arkansas
    Replied: 8/30/2011
    Law Office of Peter F. Goldscheider
    Law Office of Peter F. Goldscheider | Peter Goldscheider
    Being detained for weaving may or may not be a lawful stop depending on the extent of the weaving. You would need a good experience criminal specialist to file a motion and litigate the matter. Frankly it is probably a long shot but one worth trying because if you win the case is over.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 8/30/2011
    Law Offices of Martina A. Vigil, PC
    Law Offices of Martina A. Vigil, PC | Martina A. Vigil
    Swerving within a lane is a traffic violation and is a lawful reason to conduct a DUI investigation. However, you should hire an attorney and have him subpoena the squad at camera if there is one available. If you were not swerving, your case could be dismissed.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 8/30/2011
    Law Office of Brendan M. Kelly
    Law Office of Brendan M. Kelly | Brendan M. Kelly
    The only real way to know if an arrest was legal is to challenge it in court. If you don't fight it you will never know. A DUI will impact you the rest of your life.
    Answer Applies to: Nebraska
    Replied: 8/30/2011
    Betts Legal Services
    Betts Legal Services | Shawn M. Betts
    There are many valid reasons for a police officer to stop you. The officer must have probable cause to believe you have committed a traffic violation or other criminal offense. In Minnesota there is caselaw that says by itself, swerving within a lane is not sufficient grounds to stop a vehicle.
    Answer Applies to: Minnesota
    Replied: 8/30/2011
    Halprin Law Office
    Halprin Law Office | Richard Halprin
    The officer is required to have probable cause to suspect the driver has committed a civil or criminal infraction. This is typically based on observations of speeding, swerving or other erratic behavior.
    Answer Applies to: Michigan
    Replied: 8/30/2011
    Law Office of Roianne H. Conner
    Law Office of Roianne H. Conner | Roianne Houlton Conner
    If the police officer has probable cause to believe that you were driving impaired then he can pull you over.
    Answer Applies to: Alabama
    Replied: 8/30/2011
    Klisz Law Office, PLLC
    Klisz Law Office, PLLC | Timothy J. Klisz
    Swerving in the lanes is enough for a stop. I don't know what happened from there, and would have to examine the police report to see if you have defenses.
    Answer Applies to: Michigan
    Replied: 8/30/2011
    Hugo Florido ESQ.
    Hugo Florido ESQ. | Hugo Florido
    Generally, a police officer must have "probable cause" to pull a person over. Swerving in and out of lanes may help establish that "probable cause".
    Answer Applies to: Florida
    Replied: 8/30/2011
    Goolsby Law Office
    Goolsby Law Office | Richard Goolsby
    The simple answer is that only a judge can decide if the arrest was legal, after your DUI lawyer requests a suppression hearing. See a lawyer ASAP! Good luck.
    Answer Applies to: Georgia
    Replied: 8/30/2011
    Gregory Casale Attorney at Law
    Gregory Casale Attorney at Law | Gregory Casale
    The way you check to see if your stop and arrest are legal is by hiring an attorney. Attorneys go through rigorous training to spot legal issues such as you are referring to. If you were applying your question to the medical field it would be like saying, "How do I read the MRI? How do I know what the dark spots are?" I hope that you would be as unlikely to try to perform your own operation as you would to represent yourself after being charged with an OUI (in Mass the statute for drunk driving is Operating Under the Influence - OUI).
    Answer Applies to: Massachusetts
    Replied: 8/30/2011
    Michael Breczinski
    Michael Breczinski | Michael Breczinski
    The police can pull you over when they see evidence that there might have been impairment of the ability to drive. Swerving is a common reason. A lawyer will investigate if the reason is sufficent and challenge it in court if the lawyer thinks that the reason is not good enough. You need an attorney
    Answer Applies to: Michigan
    Replied: 8/30/2011
    Jason Overton, Attorney at Law
    Jason Overton, Attorney at Law | Jason Overton
    Officers pull drivers over for swerving and driving erratically all the time. Sometimes they'll even pull you over for swerving within your own lane; they call this "improper lane usage." You didn't specify, but I assume your swerving was not the only problem they found once they stopped you. Officers don't normally charge drivers with DUI just because they were swerving. If you're charged with DUI, you need an attorney. A DUI conviction has serious and far-reaching consequences.
    Answer Applies to: Alabama
    Replied: 8/31/2011
    Lawrence Lewis
    Lawrence Lewis | Lawrence Lewis, PC
    You know because an experienced criminal defense attorney challenges your arrest in court. If it falls it was not legal. If it stands it was legal.
    Answer Applies to: Georgia
    Replied: 8/30/2011
    Nichols Law Firm
    Nichols Law Firm | Michael J. Nichols
    You should hire a qualified dui attorney and review all of the objective sources of information including the officer's videotape.
    Answer Applies to: Michigan
    Replied: 8/30/2011
    The Law Office of Kevin O'Grady
    The Law Office of Kevin O'Grady | Kevin O'Grady
    If you are charged with DUI, oftentimes the officer will allege a moving violation such as swerving. You need to hire an attorney that will pull out all the stops and fight for you. It is important to hire an attorney quickly so that an investigation can be launched.
    Answer Applies to: Hawaii
    Replied: 8/30/2011
    Law Office of Tracey S. Sang
    Law Office of Tracey S. Sang | Tracey Sang
    If the police report says you were swerving then this is the offense and you most likely have no defense against that. That is a legal reason to pull you over. You are entitled to a hearing to question the officer and put forth your own defense.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 8/30/2011
    Law Office of Jeff Yeh
    Law Office of Jeff Yeh | Jeff Yeh
    Legal or not, you've got to deal with the DUI now. Cops will use all kinds of reasons to pull someone over. All it matters is that they write something in their report and the rest is history. You need to hire a DUI specialist now to look at your case, possibly file a 1538.5 probable cause challenge motion in court, and to represent you at the DMV to save your license.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 8/30/2011
    The English Law Firm
    The English Law Firm | Robert English
    If an officer observes a pattern of driving such as swerving, he can generally pull you over on suspicion. If you do not believe that his observations were sufficient, you can file a motion with the court and contest the stop.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 8/30/2011
    Austin Legal Services, PLC
    Austin Legal Services, PLC | Jared Austin
    A police officer has to have some type of reasonable suspicion to pull you over, even if it is just going one mph over the posted speed limit. You can obtain a copy of the police report and see what justification he gives for the stop. If none is given, he will eventually have to give one in court if it goes that far. Have an experienced DUI attorney review the report and lab results for errors that could get the charges dismissed. It is a good investment as DUIs can be very costly. A good DUI attorney will more than pay for himself in what he can save you in terms of jail, probation, vehicle immobilization, license points, fines, and higher insurance premiums. The system is too complex and the stakes are too high to go at it alone.
    Answer Applies to: Michigan
    Replied: 8/30/2011
    The Law Firm of David Jolly
    The Law Firm of David Jolly | David Jolly
    Law enforcement needs probable cause to stop/contact you and also probable cause to arrest you. In real person terms this means an officer needs a valid reason to stop you. He cannot just stop you because he suspects you were drinking. If your driving was erratic the officer needs to articulate the observations - whether he had enough to stop you can be determined by an attorney (and perhaps a Judge later). To arrest you the officer needs more than "mere suspicion" that you're driving under the influence. You really need to have an attorney review your case.
    Answer Applies to: Washington
    Replied: 8/30/2011
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