4 Things You Should Know About Probable Cause in Relation to DUIs
A law enforcement officer is required to have probable cause that a driver has acted unlawfully in order to pull the driver over. Because probable cause can be difficult to understand in relation to DUIs, our Reno criminal defense lawyers at Joey Gilbert Law have listed four things you should know:
1.An injury or accident can be considered suitable probable cause.
If a driver is involved in a vehicle accident or caused another person to suffer some form of injury while under the influence, the law enforcement officer may use the evidence of such an event as the basis to a conclusion that probable cause exists for arrest.
2.If a law enforcement officer stops a driver without probable cause, the driver can fight this action in court.
If the law enforcement officer did not have adequate probable cause to pull over the driver, the driver may be able to bring a motion to suppress later. If successful, the case may be dismissed. However, it is important to keep in mind that it is difficult for a driver to succeed in such situations since the court will more than likely side with the law enforcement officer. For this reason, individuals accused of DUI should contact legal representation immediately after arrest.
3.Poor behavior can add to probable cause.
Generally, probable cause is triggered by the law enforcement officer’s initial observations of the individual’s driving behavior. However, it is important to remember that a police officer will continue to observe behavior and may gather probable cause for more violations. For example, if a police officer stops a person for running a red light but notices the scent of alcohol coming from the driver’s vehicle, he or she may have probable cause to charge the driver with DUI.
4.Probable cause does not justify pretext to begin investigations.
Although a law enforcement officer can pull a person over for traffic violations, an officer cannot utilize these stops as pretext to begin an investigation. For example, unless the law enforcement officer has probable cause to believe that a vehicle or the trunk of the vehicle contains contraband or weapons, the officer cannot search the vehicle since it was pulled over for a traffic violation. In the same manner, unless a law enforcement officer has probable cause to believe that the motorist or a passenger in the vehicle has committed a serious crime, the law enforcement officer cannot use the traffic stop as pretext to question the vehicle’s occupants about other possible crimes.
Have You Been Accused of DUI? Call Our Reno DUI Defense Lawyers
If you or someone you love was accused of driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol, it is important that you contact a highly experienced criminal defense lawyer right away. At Joey Gilbert Law, our Reno DUI defense attorneys can provide you with aggressive and seasoned legal counsel. When you choose to entrust your case to our team, we will examine every detail to determine whether the officer had probable cause to charge you with a crime. From there, we can use our knowledge and skills to build a strong case in order to protect your rights and future. Because Nevada takes DUI cases seriously, it is wise for you to contact our team right away so we can begin examining the details of your case.