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A DUI stop in Tolleson may be a person’s first and only interaction with the criminal justice system. Being stopped and accused of driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol can be terrifying and stressful. These traffic stops can serve as the basis for an arrest, prosecution, and eventual conviction.
It is crucial to understand what may happen during these stops. As the experienced attorneys at Grand Canyon Law Group can explain, there are things you can do to protect your rights and prevent the severe penalties of a DUI conviction. Our legal team can provide further guidance about protecting yourself during DUI stops in Tolleson.
Almost every DUI case in Tolleson courts begins with a traditional traffic stop. It is important to understand when a police officer can stop a driver on a public road or street.
A traffic stop is legal when a police officer has reasonable suspicion that a driver has violated a rule of the road. In many cases, this can be a simple traffic violation, such as speeding, not stopping at a red light, or swerving over a double yellow line. In rare examples, an officer may make a stop after supposedly observing an already intoxicated driver getting behind the wheel or seeing a driver take a drink from a bottle or can.
Contesting the reason for a police officer’s decision to make a traffic stop is one way to fight back against DUI charges. If a judge agrees that a police officer did not have the legal right to make this stop, all evidence that resulted from that stop and subsequent arrest cannot go to trial. In most cases, this results in a dismissal of the charges. Our seasoned Tolleson lawyers can help determine if a traffic stop has a legitimate basis in the law. If not, we can work to contest the prosecution’s evidence in court.
A police officer’s primary goal during a traffic stop is to obtain more information about potential criminal activity. They may suspect intoxication before even making a stop. Their initial interaction with a driver by asking for a license and registration may strengthen this suspicion.
If an officer has reasonable suspicion of intoxication, they may demand that a driver participates in a blood, breath, or urine test. Arizona Revised Statute § 28-1321 says that a driver must take one of these tests after an officer’s request. Failing to do so will have severe consequences for a driver, including a one-year license suspension.
Police officers may also request that a driver participates in field sobriety tests. This is another attempt to obtain additional evidence of a driver’s intoxicated state. However, drivers are not required to participate in these tests. In fact, participation can only hurt their chances of an eventual acquittal at trial. All drivers have the right to politely refuse a field sobriety test. This may still result in an arrest, but it will make it more difficult for a prosecutor to eventually obtain a conviction. Our lawyers are well-versed in Tolleson DUI cases and can further explain how drivers can protect their rights during traffic stops.
DUI stops are always stressful. Police officers making these stops are trying to obtain more information to justify an arrest and prosecution for serious crimes. While it may be impossible to prevent a stop from turning into an arrest, there are things that you can do to help build a proper defense against eventual prosecution.
A seasoned lawyer can evaluate the reasons for the stop. Police officers must have reasonable suspicion of illegal activity before stopping a driver. Without reasonable suspicion, any evidence that results from the stop cannot go to trial. You also have the right to refuse to participate in field sobriety tests, although refusing to take a blood/alcohol level test will have severe consequences. Talk with an attorney to learn more about protecting yourself during a DUI stop in Tolleson. Call Grand Canyon Law Group today for a consultation.