Strategies for Challenging Illegal Police Stops in Arizona
Arizona police officers have to determine whether there’s reasonable suspicion to pull a driver over. Reasonable suspicion can be quite subjective in some circumstances, providing experienced DUI attorneys with an opportunity to challenge the legal procedure.
If you believe the stop that led to your DUI charges was unlawful, you should communicate the information to your lawyer. Together, you will determine what it would take to challenge the unlawful stop and potentially have the charges dismissed.
Arizona Regulations and Lawful Stops
Reasonable suspicion is recognized throughout the US as a standard of proof in criminal procedures. This means that a law enforcement professional will need to have more than a gut feeling in order to pull a driver over.
Being in the vicinities of a bar that serves beverages or driving at 4am do not qualify as reasons that warrant a police stop. You shouldn’t be concerned if you get pulled over in such circumstances.
There has to be objective belief based on facts and evidence that the respective person has broken the law. Speeding and driving erratically, for example, are easy to observe. Based on such observations, a police officer can pull you over. The stop is lawful and it could eventually lead to a DUI arrest and criminal charges.
The only exception to this law in Arizona is a DUI checkpoint. DUI checkpoints make it possible for law enforcement professionals to pull drivers over even in the absence of reasonable suspicion. To be legal, however, DUI checkpoints are to be announced in advance. In addition, police officers should come up with a system for pulling drivers over. The stops cannot be random. A system could be pulling every fourth car over, for example.
Challenging Unlawful Stops
Arizona DUI lawyers will examine the legality of the traffic stop as a part of crafting their defense strategy. Often, the motivation of a law enforcement professional can be challenged in court.
When you get pulled over, you should not take it upon yourself to challenge the police officer. Being argumentative could only lead to issues down the line. Instead, cooperate while being observant of your civil rights. You can, for example, turn down a field sobriety test – there’s no obligation to participate in it due to the fact it could lead to self-incrimination.
Leave the arguing to your lawyer and be observant of everything that a police officer says or does. Such information could come quite handy later on in the process.
Whenever the stop is deemed unlawful, your lawyer will file a motion to suppress the evidence that was collected as a result of the stop. Such evidence includes the BAC test you submitted to, as well as anything that a police officer saw in your car (an alcohol bottle, for example).
If the court agrees to suppress the evidence because the police stop was not based on reasonable suspicion, the prosecution will be left with very little to base the case upon. As a result, challenging unlawful stops in Arizona can easily contribute to the dismissal of all charges against you. Click here to find out whether police officers can pull people over randomly in Arizona.
Keep in mind that it’s possible for a law enforcement professional to use reasonable suspicion to stop a driver while having some other motivation for the stop. A minor traffic violation or an issue with a vehicle could be used as a reason to pull a car over when there’s a belief on behalf of the police officer that the driver is involved in drug trafficking or another crime. The pretext and the motivation of the officer are different but the stop is still legal id there’s reasonable suspicion.