Probable Cause for a DUI Stop in PA

Levittown Probable Cause for a DUI Stop Attorney

A DUI charge almost always begins with a traffic stop. However, your Fourth Amendment rights are implicated anytime the police stop your vehicle without probable cause. As a result, a police officer cannot initiate a traffic stop without information that would lead a reasonable person to believe that a crime or traffic offense had been committed.

Warrington DWI Defense Lawyers

Kamensky Cohen & Riechelson is a highly respected law firm with more than 40 years of experience handling DUI cases throughout Bucks County, PA, including Bristol, Middletown, and Penndel. We are hardworking and dedicated attorneys who will take the time to listen to you and address your concerns. Call us today to begin your defense and fight your DUI charges.

What is “Probable Cause”?

“Probable cause” is a legal standard that means the officer has reason to believe that a crime has been committed. The standard of proof for “probable cause” is higher than the standard of proof for “reasonable suspicion.” Basically, a police officer cannot stop a vehicle simple because the officer has a “hunch” or a “feeling” that a crime is being committed. Moreover, police officers are prevented from “profiling” drivers. This means that they cannot run a driver’s license plate simply to target a driver with prior convictions for DUI. The officer must have a legitimate reason for initiating the traffic stop.

When Can a Bucks County Police Officer Stop Your Vehicle?

If a driver commits a traffic infraction or vehicle code violation, they can be pulled over by police. For example, if you are speeding or have a broken headlight or have expired registration, the police can stop you. At that point, the officer may observe you and begin to establish reasonable suspicion that you are impaired.

Additionally, police officers may stop a driver on suspicion of DUI if the driver: fails to maintain their lane; doesn’t have their headlights turned on; drives too slow; turns too wide; and fails to move when a traffic light turns green.

DUI Checkpoints

A traffic stop is allowed at DUI checkpoints or roadblocks. However, the police must still follow strict guidelines and adhere to proper procedure when conducting DUI checkpoints.

Lack of Probable Cause for a Traffic Stop Invalidates the Evidence

If the police officer did not have probable cause to stop the vehicle in the first place, then any evidence obtained by the officer after stopping the vehicle may be ruled inadmissible. This is because of the “fruit of the poisonous tree” doctrine, which dictates that any evidence obtained by a police officer after an invalid traffic stop cannot be used against the driver at trial.

Speak with Levittown DWI Defense Lawyers

The drunk driving defense lawyers at Kamensky Cohen & Riechelson are prepared to help you win your DUI case. We have a proven track record of success when it comes to challenging the legality of traffic stops and beating DUI charges. Call today to speak with a member of our DUI litigation team, or fill out our online contact form to schedule a free, no-obligation consultation at our Bensalem office.

Contact Kamensky Cohen & Riechelson

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