A motor vehicle stop is a “Constitutional” event, because the Fourth Amendement protects us from unreasonable police activity such as unreasonable searches and seizures. And, since most drunk driving cases start out with a police stop of your car so naturally this is where our defense of your case will also start. If there was no stop, then we will look at the lawfulness of the original police contact, and if we can show that the police did not have a lawful reason to come into contact with you and start asking questions or performing an investigation, then all the evidence collected after the this contact might be thrown out, and your case dismissed.
The law requires that police contact be supported by probable cause or a “reasonable and articulable” suspicion that “criminal activity was afoot.” As you might expect though any traffic violation, such as speeding or weaving, equipment violation such as no headlights, or a license plate violation will also provide a sufficient basis for the stop.
Nevertheless, our investigation does not end with an acceptance of the reason stated by the police. Some equipment violations are really not justifiable reasons to stop the car, and just because the report states that you were weaving does not automatically make it so. Even if you were weaving, certain types of weaving may be permissible, especially if you didn’t cross the lane markers. Also, even if the report states that you were speeding the police still may not be able to show that the Doppler or Lidar radar was working properly. If they cannot show that it was, the stop may still be unlawful or impermissible.
In order for us to evaluate the lawfulness of the stop or original police contact then it will be important for us to obtain and review the police reports, speak with you and possibly also visit the scene where the stop occurred.After that, we may request a hearing where we will show that the stop in your case really was unlawful.
The hearing is requesting by filing a motion and a brief setting forth our legal position. The prosecutor gets to respond, then both parties appear in court to make their oral argument. The court may or may not take testimony from the police officer who stopped you. After all of this the court will make a ruling. If the judge agrees with us that the police contact was invalid then your Michigan drunk driving case will be dismissed.
For a more detailed description of possible DUI stop issues, see the detailed discussion from Mr. Barone’s book Defending Drinking Drivers.
Get a FREE confidential CASE EVALUATION on your Michigan OWI/OWVI/DUI by calling (248) 306-9159, or filling out this consultation request form. Call now, there’s no obligation!
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