Understanding Probable Cause and DWIs

The crux of any DWI case is determining whether the officer who pulled you over had probable cause. Legally, an officer must have enough evidence to have a reasonable suspicion that an individual is committing or about to commit a crime. In order for an officer to legally pull you over to arrest and charge you with a DWI, he or she must have probable cause. In this blog, our Dallas DWI attorney explains how probably cause can impact a DWI case.

Bad Behavior Can Count as Probable Cause

An officer’s observations don’t end once you’re pulled over. Your driving behavior was a preliminary trigger in establishing probable cause, but your behavior in the interactions you have with the officer will be observed, usually in an attempt to continue gathering evidence for additional offenses. For example, a routine traffic stop such as running a stop sign can turn into a DWI arrest if the officer smells alcohol coming out of your car – that’s enough probable cause to arrest and charge you.

Probable Cause Does Not Cover Routine Traffic Stops

A police officer cannot use a routine traffic stop to launch into investigations for a bigger offense. For example, if you are pulled over for running a red light, an officer cannot search your trunk unless he or she can prove that there is probable cause and reason to believe that you are hiding weapons in your car.

No Probable Cause? You Can File a Motion to Suppress

If you have reason to believe that the officer did not have probable cause to arrest and charge you with a DWI, you and your attorney can file a motion to suppress, which can result in the entire case being thrown out. In these types of cases, your choice in representation is extremely crucial – it’ll be your word against the officer’s word, which can be very difficult to argue and prove.

Dallas DWI Attorney Peter Barrett is solely dedicated to helping clients combat the allegations they face. When you come to our firm, you can trust that we will work tirelessly to safeguard your future and freedoms.

Call (214) 307-8667 today to request a free consultation.

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