Unlawful Traffic Stops in Colorado Springs
Unreasonable Search and Seizure
When you have been pulled over, arrested and charged with driving under the influence (DUI), it is easy to feel hopeless about your chances of clearing your name and avoiding the serious consequences of a conviction. After all, the evidence against you may seem to prove that you were guilty of drunk driving, such as if you failed a field sobriety test or were caught with a blood alcohol concentration above the legal limit. Fortunately, a Colorado Springs criminal defense attorney may be able to have the charges thrown out of court based on the skillful use of your constitutional right against unreasonable search and seizure.
The Fourth Amendment Can Help You Fight DUI Charges
Under the terms of the Fourth Amendment to the United States Constitution, citizens of this country are legally protected against any efforts by law enforcement to search their persons, their personal possessions and their homes unless the officer has a lawfully executed search warrant. Without a warrant, searches are prohibited except in cases where the officer has probable cause to believe that a crime has been – or is in the process of being – committed. This protection applies to arrests – also referred to as seizure – without a warrant or probable cause.
Exploiting Law Enforcement Errors in Your Defense
If the police officer who arrested you for DUI did not have probable cause to investigate you, it may be possible to beat the charges by filing a motion in court to have the evidence suppressed. This is because evidence which is gathered in violation of a suspect's rights may be declared inadmissible in a court of law. Law enforcement agencies in Colorado Springs and nationwide have wide ranging powers to investigate, but they must also abide by strict rules in doing so to ensure the validity of the cases they bring against suspects. This is one reason why it is so important to hire an experienced attorney to represent you.
What constitutes probable cause for a DUI stop?
In challenging the legality of a DUI traffic stop, your attorney will force the police officer to testify in court as to the specific facts which led him or her to believe that you were driving drunk or that you had violated some other law. This could be as simple as noticing that you were driving without a seatbelt, that you were speeding or ran a stop light. It could also include erratic driving such as swerving, driving abnormally slow or driving recklessly. It is not enough to say that the officer had a hunch that you were driving drunk, or that you pulled out of a parking lot at a bar or that you were driving very late at night. The same rules apply in requesting you to exit the car to perform field sobriety tests – there must be reasonable suspicion that you had been drinking and might be intoxicated when making an arrest for DUI. Contact us now at the Samuelson Law Firm for a free case evaluation to discuss the circumstances of your arrest and determine whether this defense may apply in your case.