Should you challenge the legality of your DUI traffic stop?
Illinois laws are strict on drunk driving, and a conviction can lead to complications and various penalties that can affect your life for a long time. You understand the importance of fighting back and building a strong defense, but you may be unsure of where to begin. It can be helpful to first review every aspect of your case – starting with the initial traffic stop.
It can be smart to review the traffic stop because there is a chance that you experienced a violation of your rights or there was no valid cause for law enforcement to pull you over to begin with. If this is the case, it could be grounds to challenge the entire case against you. Police officers have to have reasonable suspicion to pull a driver over for suspected DUI.
What happened during your traffic stop?
The case against you likely originated in what happened during the traffic stop. In order to pull a driver over for suspected drunk driving, a law enforcement officer must have reasonable suspicion. This means that an officer must have a clear reason to believe that a crime is taking place in order to stop a driver. Examples of reasonable suspicion and valid reasons for traffic stops include:
- Swerving from lane to lane
- Driving at erratic speeds
- Driving through intersections or stopping at inappropriate times
- Making illegal turns
After you were pulled over, it is likely that the officer asked you to perform field sobriety tests, leading them to a chemical test of your blood, urine or breath. The evidence from these steps essentially comprises the entire case against you.
If you believe there was no reason for an officer to pull you over, it may be possible to challenge the legality of the traffic stop and, therefore, all the evidence from the stop. You may have reason to move for a dismissal of the case against you.
A strong defense for you
It is beneficial to start developing your defense strategy as soon as possible after your arrest. If you think there could be a good reason to challenge your traffic stop, you have the right to explore this option and present evidence for your defense.
After a drunk driving arrest, your future and your freedom are on the line. It is in your interests to explore all of your defense options as soon as possible, starting by seeking a complete evaluation of your case.