Unlawful Police Stops

Unlawful Police Stops

How Unlawful Stops Affect DUI Cases

A law enforcement/peace officer is not allowed to stop a vehicle unless they have reasonable cause to do so, and yet many attorneys would contend that thousands of people are unlawfully stopped by law enforcement annually. Knowing what is and isn't illegal when it comes to a traffic stop is vital for an attorney to know if they're going to handle your DUI case. Fortunately, Phoenix DUI Lawyer Anthony Knowles is a former Arizona police officer and was trained in these procedures. His experience allows him to better advocate for clients who were arrested for DUI after illegal stops.

If you've been for DUI, contact an attorney from Knowles Law Firm, PLC today for a free consultation.

DUI / Sobriety Checkpoints in Phoenix

Many people have contested the constitutionality of sobriety checkpoints, saying that they violate a person's fourth amendment rights (right to be free from unwarranted searches and seizures). However, it is important to be wary of "flexing your rights" at a DUI checkpoint, as this could create more problems for you in the event of an arrest.

Although sobriety checkpoints are considered lawful in the state of Arizona, law enforcement must abide by proper procedures for doing so, such as only searching your vehicle if they have probable cause to do so. For example, all DUI checkpoints must be approved through the department and they must be publicized in some way. Also, law enforcement cannot stop vehicles that go through their checkpoint at random, but must have a designated method for stopping vehicles (ex: stopping every fourth vehicle).

Lawful Reasons to Stop a Motor Vehicle

A law enforcement officer can only stop a motor vehicle if they detect a violation of traffic laws or a potential violation of traffic laws. Some blatant violations an officer might pull a car over for include:

  • Speeding
  • Expired registration
  • Running a red light

There are also many "grey areas" when it comes to traffic violations or suspected violations. This is usually what our clients have questions about. Law enforcement officers might pull people over for:

  • Vision impediments (objects hanging from the rear-view mirror)
  • Window tinting that is "too dark"
  • Weaving or drifting within a lane
  • Driving under the speed limit

If you were pulled over and that traffic stop led to a DUI arrest, let our Phoenix DUI attorneys investigate you case. There is the possibility that you were stopped illegally by police, which could have massive implications for your driving under the influence case. In some cases, if your attorney can show that the stop was unlawful, the evidence collected at the traffic stop must be dismissed. As a result, your DUI charges would likely be dismissed as well.

Protecting Your Fourth Amendment Rights

The Fourth Amendment protects your against unreasonable searches and seizures. This means that every individual has the constitutional right to be secure in their vehicle and free from "unreasonable" searches and seizures, which can mean warrantless traffic stops. Any Fourth Amendment violation and any evidence obtained thereafter could be dismissed from the case.

Retaining a Phoenix DUI Attorney for Your Case

If you've been arrested for driving under the influence and are now facing consequences such as fines, jail time and license suspension, Knowles Law Firm, PLC may be able to help you. Our skilled lawyers will evaluate every aspect of your DUI arrest to make sure your rights are protected. With every DUI, we evaluate the case scientifically (chemical test evidence, etc.), legally (Arizona traffic codes and statutes) and procedurally.

The procedural component of a DUI is what unlawful police stops would fall under. Again, Attorney Anthony Knowles is a former Arizona police officer. He knows proper traffic stop procedure because he used to perform them on a regular basis. For a free evaluation of your case, call our firm today!

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