Reasonable Suspicion For a Traffic Stop

How a DUI Lawyer Can Help Your Case

In order to stop a vehicle, a police officer needs only a “reasonable suspicion” that you were violating the law, that you committed either a traffic or equipment violation. For example, a police officer can stop you for failure to wear a seatbelt, speeding, improper lane usage or a broken taillight.

If you are stopped by a police officer, and if the officer suspects you are driving under the influence, the officer may ask you to take field sobriety tests. These may include a preliminary breath test, and three tests that have been validated by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), and if administered correctly, may be reliable indicators that a person’s BAC (breath/blood alcohol content) is 0.08 or above:

  • The one-leg stand
  • Heel-to-toe walking test
  • The horizontal gaze nystagmus (HGN) test

Most police departments use these tests. After your arrest, the police officer will request you to submit to a breathalyzer test at the police station. The results of these tests may be used as evidence of driving under the influence.

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You have rights regarding field sobriety tests and the breathalyzer test. The police officer must follow certain rules and procedures when collecting evidence, and when arresting and questioning you. For example, if the police officer decides to interrogate you, the officer must advise you of your Miranda rights after you are arrested. If the police officer failed to follow proper procedures, the evidence the officer gathered may not be admissible in Court.

In order to protect your license, we can file a petition to rescind your statutory summary suspension. We can also request a Judicial Driving Permit (JDP), even if your license is suspended, so that you can travel to work.

In addition, we can interview witnesses, speak with the prosecutor and request that she or he reduce or possibly dismiss the charge, negotiate jail alternatives, and negotiate reduced fines and/or reduced jail time.

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