For Louisiana law enforcement officers to be able to pull you over and arrest you for suspected drunk or drugged driving or DWI, they require what is known as reasonable suspicion and probable cause. Thanks to the US Constitution, a police officer cannot request you to pull over without any decent reason.
In some states though, there is an exception to this―you may still be pulled over without reasonable suspicion if and when you drive into a DWI or OWI checkpoint or a temporary and random sobriety checkpoint.
Many people argue that these checkpoints are not constitutional, but for all practical purposes – you can be pulled over and asked to submit to sobriety tests and if you refuse (in implied consent states like Louisiana) your license maybe immediately suspended, caution the most accomplished and committed DWI legal counselors.
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What is reasonable suspicion?
As per the constitution, for an officer of the law to lawfully detain a suspect will require that the officer has a reasonable basis to suspect criminal activity. To paraphrase, to be able to pull a driver over, the officer needs to have reasonable suspicion that the person who is pulled over has violated a law or is on the verge of violating a law.
Therefore, what this effectively means is that if you are driving in a manner where you are not violating any laws at all, and you are not driving into a DWI checkpoint, then law enforcement officers simply cannot pull you over.
Any traffic infraction can be considered reasonable suspicion. Therefore,
- running a red light
- not maintaining lane
- reckless driving
- driving strangely (spending too much time at a stop sign)
- not having your car and parts in accordance to the legal standards, etc.
……can all serve as reasonable suspicion for all practical purposes.
Forming probable cause
Reasonable suspicion is one side of the coin. With reasonable suspicion a law enforcement officer can ask you to pull over. However, probable cause is what a judge will assess and evaluate in order to decide whether or not the arrest was lawful. Therefore, in order to pull someone over the officer requires reasonable suspicion, but in order to arrest someone the police officer needs probable cause.
Some things which can constitute probable cause are:
- When the suspect acts suspiciously while seated in the car
- You fumble or shake and have trouble retrieving your registration or license
- There is evidence of alcohol or drug use due to odor, open containers, visible paraphernalia, etc.
USAttorneys.com can come through or you
If you have been charged with a DWI or OWI, you need to act quickly or you will be convicted and the repercussions can be severe. What you need a fantastic and judicious DWI lawyer from Lafayette, Louisiana who will get started on your case and build a solid defense where you can beat your DWI charge and potentially walk away a free man or woman.
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