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Understanding Lack of Probable Cause as a DWI Defense Strategy

Posted on in DWI

TX DWI lawyerThe power and authority held by police officers are not without limit. Police are bound to certain procedures and rules when it comes to traffic stops, arrests, and interrogations. When police act in violation of these rules, it can have a significant impact on a criminal case.

One potential defense strategy in a Texas DWI case is lack of probable cause for the initial traffic stop or the DWI arrest. If police do not have probable cause, evidence obtained by police may be inadmissible during the DWI case.

Police Need Reasonable Suspicion of a Crime to Pull Someone Over

The Constitution and other legislation require police officers to have justification for a traffic stop or arrest. Police cannot lawfully pull someone over solely because of their race or the neighborhood they were driving in. They must have a reasonable suspicion that a crime was committed. For example, police may pull someone over if they witness a driver run a red light or weave in and out of lanes or if the driver has a broken taillight. Police must be able to point to the specific reason that they pulled someone over. If they cannot give a valid reason for the initial traffic stop, evidence obtained during the traffic stop (such as breathalyzer results) may be thrown out.

Probable Cause is Needed for a DWI Arrest

Police must need probable cause to arrest someone for drunk driving. Often, a roadside breath alcohol test or field sobriety test is used to establish probable cause for the arrest. If police did not have probable cause for a DWI arrest, the evidence may be suppressed under the “exclusionary rule.” This rule states that evidence gathered in violation of the Constitution may not be used against a defendant in a criminal case.

Contact a Karnes County DWI Defense Lawyer

A first-time conviction for driving while intoxicated is punishable by 3 to 180 days in jail, a two-year driver’s license suspension, steep fines, and other penalties. The jail sentences and penalties for second, third, and subsequent DWIs are even harsher.

If you were charged with drunk driving in Texas, contact BRCK Criminal Defense Attorneys for help. Our Karnes City criminal defense lawyers have handled thousands of criminal cases including DWI, intoxication assault, intoxication manslaughter, and more. We can investigate the circumstances of your DWI arrest and determine the best defense strategy moving forward. Our knowledgeable team will ensure your rights are protected every step of the way. Call 830-769-1010 for a confidential consultation.

Source:

https://www.txdot.gov/inside-txdot/division/traffic/safety/sober-safe/intoxication.html

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