Utah DUI Probable Cause
Many people are under the mistaken impression that being arrested for a crime will automatically result in a conviction; however, this is not always the case. To make a driving under the influence (DUI) arrest in Utah, officers must first have probable cause. If there is no probable cause, there is a chance that your charges could be dismissed. A qualified DUI lawyer can examine every aspect of your case, from before you were pulled over to when you were arrested, in an effort to prepare an appropriate defense.
Probable Cause Defenses
To pull over a driver suspected of driving while intoxicated, an officer must have a valid reason to make the stop; that is, he or she cannot just stop drivers to determine if a crime has been committed. If an individual's driving patterns are consistent with drunk driving--such as straddling the center of two lanes, weaving, drifting, or driving into crossing traffic--the officer can make a DUI stop. However, if a lawyer finds that there was no indication of impaired driving, any evidence obtained may be deemed illegal and suppressed.
Once you are stopped, the officer must again establish probable cause before initiating a DUI investigation. Signs of intoxication that may warrant an investigation include bloodshot eyes, the smell of alcohol, slurred speech, and open alcohol containers. If the officer has enough evidence, he or she may begin the field sobriety tests and administer a preliminary breathalyzer. Again, if the officer has no probable cause to detain you during the investigation, the results of the field sobriety and breathalyzer tests may be deemed inadmissible in court.
Fighting Your Utah DUI
Just because you have been accused of a crime, it doesn't mean that your rights can be infringed upon. Each citizen is protected by the Fourth Amendment of the U.S. Constitution against illegal search, seizure, and detainment; therefore, your traffic stop and arrest may be thrown out if the proper guidelines were not followed by the police.