Facing drunk driving charges can be overwhelming and frightening. You are up against serious penalties and consequences that can alter the course of your life, even if it is your first offense. It is in your interests and for the benefit of your future to fight back against these charges.
One of the first steps in developing the right defense strategy is to examine the circumstances of the original traffic stop. If the police did not have valid grounds to pull you over, it could compromise the entire case against you. It is in your interests to learn about reasonable suspicion, your rights as a motorist and how to defend yourself when facing a DUI in Arizona.
What counts as reasonable suspicion?
Reasonable suspicion is a legal concept that protects the rights of motorists. This means that law enforcement must have a valid reason to stop you. Most often this is the observation of certain types of behavior that give an officer reasonable suspicion that a person may be intoxicated while operating a vehicle.
Police officers have a significant amount of leeway when deciding what qualifies as reasonable suspicion. If you believe you received unfair treatment or that there was no valid reason for your traffic stop, you can fight back. Some of the most common grounds for reasonable suspicion and suspected DUI traffic stops include:
- Making illegal turns
- Straddling the center line
- Swerving in the lane or drifting back and forth
- Braking frequently, erratically or for no reason
- Not stopping at a red light or stop sign
- Almost hitting other vehicles
- Any type of erratic or dangerous behaviors
This is not a complete list of the various things that law enforcement may decide count as reasonable suspicion. However, you still have rights, including the right to call into question the actions of the police officers who handled your traffic stop and initial arrest.
Your best defense starts now
It's smart to take quick action to build the best and most effective defense strategy for your individual case. It is prudent to take your case seriously and learn how you can protect your future as soon as possible after an arrest.
DUI cases can be complex, especially in cases involving invalid traffic stops and challenges to reasonable suspicion. It may be helpful for you to discuss your case and your concerns with an experienced defense attorney before moving forward.