If you have been charged with DUI in the state of California, you have a strong interest in defending against the charges. Besides the fines and unwanted blotch on your criminal record, a DUI conviction can wreak reputational damage, raise car insurance premiums, saddle you with a dizzying array of inconveniences, and much more. There exists a misperception that the road from a DUI charge to conviction is as straightforward as a parking ticket, but the truth is that stringent requirements imposed on police officers in making a DUI arrest and inherent problems related to DUI testing vastly complicate the picture. In other words, it is possible to successfully defend against the charges, whether through litigating deficiencies in the testing process, or shortfalls in police conduct at the time of the arrest. With regard to the police conduct aspect, the issue of probable cause often comes into play.
The purpose of this article is to explain the probable cause requirement imposed on all police officers. If you have been charged with DUI in the state of California, contact an experienced California DUI defense attorney to begin the process of defending against the charges against you.
Probable Cause Must Be Supported By a Reasonable Suspicion
We live in a nation of laws, and we are endowed with an array of important rights by the U.S. Constitution. One of these rights is to be free from unlawful arrests by the police. Make no mistake, the police fulfill an important role in our society and should be commended for it. However, the police can not pull you over in your car, stop you on the street, or arrest you without good reason. This would be a travesty and, more importantly, a violation of your Constitutional rights.
To lawfully make a stop or arrest, an officer must possess what is known as probable cause. Probable cause is a “reasonable suspicion” or reasonable belief that you are engaged in criminal activity. Without meeting this legal standard – without possessing a reasonable suspicion of criminal activity – a police owner cannot stop your car, detain you for the purpose of conducting a DUI investigation, or arrest you for a DUI in the state of California. For a police officer to engage in any such conduct absent probable cause is to act unlawfully. Importantly for your DUI defense, any evidence obtained during a stop, investigation, or arrest made without probable cause can be suppressed in court. Such evidence is deemed “fruit of the poisonous tree” in the eyes of the law and cannot be used against you by the state’s prosecuting attorney.
If you have been charged with DUI in the state of California, contact a skilled California DUI defense attorney. A skilled attorney will explore all and any deficiencies in probable cause, and work to have the charges against you reduced or dismissed entirely. For your future and for your reputation, contact a skilled attorney today.