Is it legal to stop me for a DUI charge? 59 Answers as of July 02, 2013

There was no traffic violation committed, can you be stopped for DUI?

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Cornish, Crowley, Rockafellow, & Sartz, PLLC
Cornish, Crowley, Rockafellow, & Sartz, PLLC | Jacob Peter Sartz IV
I'd recommend you retain a lawyer to help you or you ask the court for legal counsel.You have a right to counsel. Don't be afraid to exercise that right. An OUI is a traffic violation and a suspected OUI may be the basis for a legal stop; however, it depends on the circumstances. I'd recommend you have an experienced OUI attorney carefully the stop.
Answer Applies to: Michigan
Replied: 6/21/2012
Gregory Casale Attorney at Law
Gregory Casale Attorney at Law | Gregory Casale
If an officer observes erratic operation he/she can certainly stop a vehicle. If there was no erratic operation, you may have a motion to dismiss or suppress. Speak with a local lawyer who specializes in OUI cases.
Answer Applies to: Massachusetts
Replied: 3/21/2012
DeVito & Visconti, PA
DeVito & Visconti, PA | John E DeVito
This question is a very important question. It is the first question that any good operating under the influence attorney examines when reviewing a case for the first time. If the police had no cause to stop the vehicle, the arrest can be vacated. The police must have reasonable cause or suspicion to stop a vehicle. Typically, in drunk driving arrests the police have stopped a vehicle for some type of moving violation. If the police have facts supporting evidence that the vehicle in question was involved in a crime, had committed a crime?or was about to commit a crime there would be cause to stop the vehicle. If there was no moving violation, no crime being committed, no evidence of a past or future crime and the police randomly stop the vehicle, there is grounds to suppress the arrest. If the arrest is suppressed, the case will be dismissed. In a recent case, I raised this issue when the police stopped a car which was missing the plastic shell which covers the bumper. This was not a moving violation; this was not a crime. I moved to suppress the stop; the motion was allowed and the case was dismissed.
Answer Applies to: Massachusetts
Replied: 3/19/2012
Law Office of Michael R. Garber
Law Office of Michael R. Garber | Michael R. Garber
If there is no violation there is no basis for stopping you.
Answer Applies to: Louisiana
Replied: 3/16/2012
Law Office of Richard Williams
Law Office of Richard Williams | Richard Williams
Normally, the police can find a legitimate reason for pulling over a motorist. A stop by a motorist for no apparent reason may result in the court determining the stop was without cause and the case can be suppressed.
Answer Applies to: Alabama
Replied: 3/15/2012
    Law Office of Brian K. Wanerman
    Law Office of Brian K. Wanerman | Brian K. Wanerman
    It depends on the circumstances. If the officer saw behavior that suggested you might be under the influence, he can pull you over. But, usually this would require observing illegal conduct. He can also pull you over for things like expired license tags, broken lamps, etc. and then arrest you for DUI if he discovers evidence you are under the influence. The legality of the stop depends on many factors. You should consult an attorney to see what options you have to challenge it.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 3/15/2012
    Reeves Law Firm, P.C.
    Reeves Law Firm, P.C. | Roy L. Reeves
    Can you be stopped? The obvious answer is yes, you were. Now the more operative facts are in question, why did the cop stop you? What is the real reason and what is the reason that will make it into the report at the end of the day? More importantly, what is shown on the dash-cam and will it support what the cop puts in the report? This is all important because the DWI stop can be challenged and if you are successful in challenging the stop, all evidence after the stop is suppressed - i.e.: you win.
    Answer Applies to: Texas
    Replied: 3/15/2012
    Michael Breczinski
    Michael Breczinski | Michael Breczinski
    If they have reason to believe that your were intoxicated then they can stop you. IE swerving, going off the road, going too slow etc. You need an attorney to fight this. They need a reason to stop you.
    Answer Applies to: Michigan
    Replied: 3/15/2012
    Craig W. Elhart, P.C.
    Craig W. Elhart, P.C. | Craig Elhart
    Yes, absolutely.
    Answer Applies to: Michigan
    Replied: 5/30/2013
    The Law Firm of David Jolly
    The Law Firm of David Jolly | David Jolly
    You can be stopped/contacted for only three general reasons. You committed a traffic violation (i.e. speeding), the officer suspects you of criminal activity- Terry Stop (i.e. severe lane travel and inconsistent speeds); or Community Caretaking (i.e. you are passed out in a parked car). Absent one of the above factors an officer cannot stop or contact you. Be very aware of the officer who gathers together several factual observations and passes them off as "suspicion of criminal activity." Many officers and prosecutors alike are more interested in arrest and convictions than necessarily fair play.
    Answer Applies to: Washington
    Replied: 3/14/2012
    Lawrence Lewis
    Lawrence Lewis | Lawrence Lewis, PC
    Of course. If the police observe you driving in an erratic manner, or weaving within a lane or DUI checkpoint. You don't need to cited for something else.
    Answer Applies to: Georgia
    Replied: 3/14/2012
    The Law Office of Kevin O'Grady
    The Law Office of Kevin O'Grady | Kevin O'Grady
    The basis for a traffic stop is one thing a DUI attorney can challenge. If you are facing a DUI charge, be sure to hire an attorney that will not plead you out for a first time offense and let him know about the circumstances of the stop and he may be able to attack the stop.
    Answer Applies to: Hawaii
    Replied: 3/14/2012
    Law Offices of Eric J. Bell | Eric J. Bell
    Unless you are stopped for a roadside traffic safety check or some other rare circumstance, the police have to have a legitimate reason for a traffic stop.
    Answer Applies to: Illinois
    Replied: 3/14/2012
    Timothy J. Thill P.C.
    Timothy J. Thill P.C. | Timothy J. Thill
    If there was a legal road check stop, you could be arrested for DUI, however, if capriciously stopped for no reason, you can probably get the case dismissed as there was no erratic driving or any other probable cause for the officer to stop you.
    Answer Applies to: Illinois
    Replied: 3/14/2012
    Law Office of Richard Southard
    Law Office of Richard Southard | Richard C Southard
    Well one example would be a checkpoint. Absent that, no the officer needs a legitimate basis to pull you over. Without one, a skilled defense lawyer may be able to get evidence thrown out of your case. Just because you don't know what the basis is, don't think the officer won't come up with one when he needs to.
    Answer Applies to: New York
    Replied: 3/14/2012
    Law Office of Jared Altman
    Law Office of Jared Altman | Jared Altman
    There must be a basis for a stop.
    Answer Applies to: New York
    Replied: 3/14/2012
    Hynum Law Office, LLC
    Hynum Law Office, LLC | G. Wayne Hynum
    The officer must have a valid reason, or probable cause, to pull you over, such as seeing you swerve outside of your lane, speeding, inoperative tail light, or something like that. This answer only applies to Mississippi.
    Answer Applies to: Mississippi
    Replied: 3/14/2012
    Anderson Law Office
    Anderson Law Office | Scott L. Anderson
    There must be a reasonable suspicion that a driving offense occurred.
    Answer Applies to: Minnesota
    Replied: 3/14/2012
    Dunnings Law Firm
    Dunnings Law Firm | Steven Dunnings
    A cop can find a reason.
    Answer Applies to: Michigan
    Replied: 3/14/2012
    Law Offices of John Carney
    Law Offices of John Carney | John Carney
    You can be stopped for any violation. If the officer believes you are impaired or intoxicated he can arrest you for DWI. If the stop was illegal the case may be dismissed.
    Answer Applies to: New York
    Replied: 3/14/2012
    Mark Thiessen, Attorney at Law
    Mark Thiessen, Attorney at Law | Mark Thiessen
    Maybe. They can either stop you for a traffic violation or community caretaking. You need to hire an experienced DWI attorney to analyze the case law for you as it relates to your facts.
    Answer Applies to: Texas
    Replied: 3/14/2012
    Freeborn Law Offices, P.S.
    Freeborn Law Offices, P.S. | Steve Freeborn
    If an officer observes erratic driving (examples: weaving within the lane, driving really slow when there is no reason, operating the vehicle with defective equipment; failing to turn on headlights after dark, etc. etc,), these thing s give an officer probable cause to initiate a stop. If he then observes other factors,. strong odor of alcohol, physical demeanor.. Yes, the officer can. It is an appropriate stop and yes you can be charged with DUI.
    Answer Applies to: Washington
    Replied: 3/14/2012
    Law Office of Michael Morgan, l.L.C.
    Law Office of Michael Morgan, l.L.C. | Michael Morgan
    You could be stopped, for example, if you matched the description of the registered owner of the vehicle and the registered owner had a warrant.
    Answer Applies to: Washington
    Replied: 3/14/2012
    Law Office of Jeff Yeh
    Law Office of Jeff Yeh | Jeff Yeh
    No. There has to be probable cause to pull someone over, or else it is a 4th Amendment violation. You need a DUI specialist to file a 1538.5 motion for you in court. Otherwise welcome to the world of having a DUI on your record.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 3/14/2012
    Law Office of Neal L. Weinstein
    Law Office of Neal L. Weinstein | Neal L. Weinstein
    Generally, there has to be specific and articuable facts to justify a traffic stop. There is no legal "routine check". I would have to read the oui report if you were arrested to determine if the stop was justified. If he let you go after stopping you for no reason, you should report (make a complaint) the cop for violating your civil rights.
    Answer Applies to: Maine
    Replied: 3/14/2012
    The Law Offices of Harold L. Wallin | Harold L. Wallin
    Possibly, I would need to know more details. An officer can stop to investigate possible criminal activity, or to see if you are sick or in danger, are just two possible reasons for an officer to stop you even without seeing a traffic violation.
    Answer Applies to: Illinois
    Replied: 3/14/2012
    Nelson & Lawless
    Nelson & Lawless | Terry Nelson
    Obviously, YES. Law enforcement officers can stop you for any suspicion of any violation. His suspicion will be described in the arrest report. A little free advice: If 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 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. If serious about hiring counsel to help in this, and if this is in SoCal courts, feel free to contact me. Of course you can fight the charges. 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.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 3/14/2012
    Charles M. Schiff, Attorney at Law
    Charles M. Schiff, Attorney at Law | Charles M. Schiff
    In order to make a legal stop the officer needs a "reasonable and articulable basis" to believe that a crime is being committed. Generally, a stop is based on an observation of erratic driving conduct either by the officer or another identified party.
    Answer Applies to: Minnesota
    Replied: 3/14/2012
    Law Offices of James A Bates
    Law Offices of James A Bates | James A Bates
    The cops have to have a real reason to pull you over, but it could be for a non-moving violation such as a broken taillight. They cannot pull you over for no reason.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 3/14/2012
    Law Office of Edward J. Blum
    Law Office of Edward J. Blum | Edward J. Blum
    No. Cop needs reasonable suspicion that your violating law to pull you over.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 3/14/2012
    H. Scott Basham, Attorney at Law, P.C. | H. Scott Basham
    Yes. DUI is a crime in and of itself. If the officer sees you weaving over the road, for example, that is enough to stop you on suspicion of DUI.
    Answer Applies to: Georgia
    Replied: 3/14/2012
    Law & Mediation Office of Jeffrey L. Pollock, Esq.
    Law & Mediation Office of Jeffrey L. Pollock, Esq. | Jeffrey Lawrence Pollock
    There needs to be some sort of "probable cause" to stop you.
    Answer Applies to: Pennsylvania
    Replied: 3/14/2012
    Cynthia Henley, Lawyer
    Cynthia Henley, Lawyer | Cynthia Henley
    There need not be a specific traffic violation; but there must be something that drew the officer's attention to your driving (or why would he pull you over?) This is an issue that you need to explore with the lawyer who is representing you on the DWI charge.
    Answer Applies to: Texas
    Replied: 3/14/2012
    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 (in this case DUI). Calling an Oregon DUI Lawyer to speak with them about the specific facts would be the best advice because both these legal terms are complicated. 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.
    Answer Applies to: Oregon
    Replied: 3/14/2012
    Palumbo and Kosofsky
    Palumbo and Kosofsky | Michael Palumbo
    Yes.
    Answer Applies to: New York
    Replied: 5/30/2013
    Law Office of Ronald Aronds, LLC
    Law Office of Ronald Aronds, LLC | Ronald Aronds
    If the police set up a DWI roadblock, then yes. If you are syaing that you were driving and were pulled over for no reason at all, then no. However, I am sure the officer had some form of probable cause for pulling you over.
    Answer Applies to: New Jersey
    Replied: 3/14/2012
    Law Office of Robert Sisson | Robert Sisson
    There must be reasonable suspicion that you have either committed a traffic infraction or that you have faulty equipment on the car or expired plates etc. Sounds like a good case to challenge.
    Answer Applies to: Wisconsin
    Replied: 3/14/2012
    Law Offices of Brian J. Lockwood
    Law Offices of Brian J. Lockwood | Brian J. Lockwoood
    Under law, there must be a specific, articulable suspicion of wrong-doing in order to justify a stop. This does not necessarily apply to checkpoints where a random matrix is used. Each case is different. I recommend speaking with a qualified attorney. Most of us offer free initial consultations, so it pays to contact a professional.
    Answer Applies to: Alabama
    Replied: 3/14/2012
    Law Office of Michael Bialys THE DUI MAN
    Law Office of Michael Bialys THE DUI MAN | Michael Bialys
    The officer would have to have a legal reason to stop you without that the case may be able to be dismissed.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 3/14/2012
    Healan Law Offices
    Healan Law Offices | William D. Healan, III
    Possibly under certain circumstances, but witnessing a traffic violation is the most common way for an officer to legally stop someone. If there was no traffic violation, there is usually a pretty argument that the stop was illegal.
    Answer Applies to: Georgia
    Replied: 3/14/2012
    Law Office of Charles J. Block
    Law Office of Charles J. Block | Charles J. Block
    There has to be some probable cause for the stop.
    Answer Applies to: New Jersey
    Replied: 3/14/2012
    Gary Moore, Attorney at Law
    Gary Moore, Attorney at Law | Gary Moore
    It all depends on the exact facts of the stop.
    Answer Applies to: New Jersey
    Replied: 7/2/2013
    Michael E. Stowell, Attorney at Law | Michael E. Stowell
    If the officer observes driving that he believes is impaired then he can stop you. Typically, this involves going out of your lane, swerving or can even be driving extremely slowly. The officer's police report will describe what he saw that justified the stop. This electronic transmission and any documents accompanying this electronic transmission contain confidential information belonging to the sender. This information may be legally privileged. The information is intended only for the use of the individual or entity named above. If you are not the intended recipient, you are hereby notified that any disclosure, copying, distribution or the taking of any action in reliance on or regarding the contents of this electronically transmitted information is strictly prohibited.
    Answer Applies to: Washington
    Replied: 3/14/2012
    Miller & Harrison, LLC
    Miller & Harrison, LLC | David Harrison
    There must be at least reasonable suspicion that an offense is occurring before a stop is legal.
    Answer Applies to: Colorado
    Replied: 3/14/2012
    Pingelton Law Firm | Dan Pingelton
    You can be stopped for almost anything.
    Answer Applies to: Missouri
    Replied: 3/14/2012
    Law Office of Patrick E. Donovan, PLLC
    Law Office of Patrick E. Donovan, PLLC | Patrick E. Donovan
    Any motor vehicle stop must be based on an officer's reasonable suspicion that you had, are, or were about to commit a crime or any violation of the rules of the road, such as speeding, line violations, signal violation or equipment violations (light bulb out for example). In the absence of any such violation, the stop is illegal and any evidence resulting from the stop should be dismissed, as will the case.
    Answer Applies to: New Hampshire
    Replied: 3/14/2012
    Glass Defense Firm
    Glass Defense Firm | Jason M. Glass
    Police have to have what is called a reasonable articulable suspicion that a crime is being committed, has been committed, or is about to be committed before they can make a traffic stop. This has to be based on actual observations and not on mere guesswork (i.e. I saw you pull out of a bar). If there was not an actual violation committed, then you do have an argument to have your case dismissed.
    Answer Applies to: West Virginia
    Replied: 3/14/2012
    Speaker Law Firm
    Speaker Law Firm | Theodore Speaker
    Yes.
    Answer Applies to: Georgia
    Replied: 5/30/2013
    The Law Office of Stephanie M. Arrache
    The Law Office of Stephanie M. Arrache | Stephanie Arrache
    Without reasonable suspicion that a traffic violation occurred, and without other reasons, a stop would be illegal.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 3/14/2012
    Law Offices of Matthew Murillo
    Law Offices of Matthew Murillo | Matthew Murillo
    Depends, what is the officer claiming the violation was? You cannot be pulled over without cause. Just because you don't think one existed, doesn't mean the officer won't try to claim one. I suggest you contact a local attorney if you were arrested, and discuss the details of your case in private.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 3/14/2012
    Law Office of Joe Dane
    Law Office of Joe Dane | Joe Dane
    They must have reasonable suspicion of some sort of criminal activity before they can stop you. If there was absolutely NO violation of the vehicle code, then there is no legal reason to stop you. If this is your contention, you absolutely need an attorney to file a motion to suppress the evidence based on an illegal stop.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 3/14/2012
    Law Offices of Phil Hache
    Law Offices of Phil Hache | Phil Hache
    There are many reasons that an officer can establish probable cause to pull someone over. An officer needs some kind of probable cause to initiate a dui investigation though. This can be done by a traffic violation, car accident, legally followed check point, etc. Sometimes there is not proper probable cause to pull someone over which can lead to a dismissal of the DUI charges. For example, an officer can't pull someone over because they thought the driver was pretty, or just because the driver is a different nationality. You should speak to a DUI attorney about your case in more detail.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 3/14/2012
    Law Office of Brendan M. Kelly
    Law Office of Brendan M. Kelly | Brendan M. Kelly
    It is illegal, the cops must have a valid violation to cause you to be stopped.
    Answer Applies to: Nebraska
    Replied: 3/14/2012
    Lykins Law | Gerald Lykins
    It would not be illegal to be stopped where there was no traffic violation. However, have you look at the police report? I am sure you will find a reason within the police report.
    Answer Applies to: Michigan
    Replied: 3/14/2012
    Klisz Law Office, PLLC
    Klisz Law Office, PLLC | Timothy J. Klisz
    Yes. There are many reasons to legally stop someone. I'm sure the officer will explain it in their police report.
    Answer Applies to: Michigan
    Replied: 3/14/2012
    Musilli Brennan Associates PLLC
    Musilli Brennan Associates PLLC | John F Brennan
    There has to be a reason to pull you over. That is one of the issues a good attorney will be looking into. Call for an appointment or engage another attorney, you need one.
    Answer Applies to: Michigan
    Replied: 3/14/2012
    Betts Legal Services
    Betts Legal Services | Shawn M. Betts
    A police officer must have probable cause to believe a person is driving while intoxicated, or that a violation of a traffic law occurred before they can stop a person's vehicle, with some limited exceptions, such as if they approach a stopped vehicle on the side of the road to render assistance. Otherwise if there is no violation or no probable cause, the charge should be dismissed.
    Answer Applies to: Minnesota
    Replied: 3/14/2012
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