Police make thousands of stops in their career, so it’s not surprising that some of those stops may be done unlawfully or by accident. If you are arrested for a DUI, you have rights and there are options for you in case you were stopped by mistake. That is why it is important to know what to expect and the process before, during, and after you are arrested.
Here are some of the top mistakes the police make during DUI investigations. This information could help if you are ever suspected of a DUI or arrested for a DUI.
Top Mistakes Police Make During DUI Stops
Stopping/Arresting a Driver without Probable Cause
When police ask you to stop and pull you over, they need to prove probable cause to make any arrests. If you disagree with the reason, you can contest the validity and it could be dropped or dismissed altogether if the court finds in your favor. A DUI checkpoint could be automatic “probable cause” if the checkpoint is conducted correctly, so if you are stopped at one, that is likely enough evidence for them to conduct their tests.
Failing to Read Miranda Rights to the Motorist Before Arrests
DUI laws state that your Miranda rights should be read to you before you are arrested. These rights state they cannot force you to speak (that you can remain silent) that you have the right to hire an attorney or have a public defender represent you if you cannot hire an attorney. If you are not read these rights, you will seek an order from the Court prohibiting the prosecution from using your statements against you. Comments you made during the arrest should not be used against you if your rights were not read to you.
Wrongful Analysis of Field Sobriety Tests
When the officers conduct field sobriety tests, they do so to help them figure out how impared you are. These tests are intended to find out how steady your balance, coordination and motor skills are and then they determine if you pass or fail. These determinations can be highly subjective and errors when conducting them can happen. Some ways the test results can be wrong are:
- Medical conditions the officers are not aware of
- Weather conditions or road conditions
- Slippery or smooth road conditions
- Incorrect assessment of your sobriety test
- Incorrect reading of breathalyzer
Incorrect Breathalyzer Procedure
Because of the sensitive nature of the machinery, there are procedures that police must follow when administering breathalyzer tests in suspected DUI stops. Failure to stick to these rules could nullify all of the DUI allegations. The person administering the test should always have proper training before using the breathalyzer out on traffic stops. Also, the equipment must be recalibrated after a certain amount of uses or after a certain amount of days. This ensures the equipment is working properly and doesn’t falsely give someone a positive test. If you feel your test was inaccurate, you can dispute the validity of the results.
Hostile Treatment from Officers
Everyone is innocent until proven guilty, but not everyone gets treated that way. Officers are supposed to have their community in mind and always conduct themselves professionally and with the law in mind. If any hostile treatment is given while stopped, you can get their badge number and bring up the treatment in court. If the officer is known for this kind of treatment, your case could be reviewed and dismissed if any violations against your rights are found.
Get The Help And Respect You Deserve with Brackin & Johnson
Were you stopped for suspicion of DUI and subsequently charged? Whether it’s your first or fourth charge, it is incredibly stressful to face criminal charges, and the pressure you feel about hiring the right lawyer can make it even worse. You deserve a lawyer who understands what you’re going through and will give you the best legal services possible.
At Brackin and Johnson, we understand the criminal justice process, how to work with each District Attorney and Assistant District Attorney, city prosecutor, or judge handling your criminal case, and the possibilities prior to ever entering the courtroom.
Contact us today and let us fight for your future. We know that going through the legal process is not easy and are here to help you every step of the way.