Price Law Firm, P.A.
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Did the police have reasonable suspicion to stop you for a DUI?

Imagine driving home after enjoying your usual end-of-the-work-week Friday Happy Hour when a Greenville police officer pulls you over only a few blocks from your destination. As the officer approaches your vehicle, you go over in your mind what you were doing just before you saw the lights in your rearview mirror. You were not speeding, your tags are current and you were not swerving. Why did the police officer stop you? Did he have reasonable cause?

In general, police officers must have a reasonable suspicion of criminal activity in order to stop you. Of course, a crime may be as simple as going a few miles over the speed limit or riding with a tail light out. However, without a legitimate reason for suspicion of criminal activity, anything that takes place during the traffic the stop could be a violation of your rights.

Reasonable suspicion for a DUI stop

There are several observations that a police officer can make that may be enough to satisfy the reasonable suspicion requirement for a driving under the influence (DUI) stop. For example, if a driver straddles the center line, makes an illegal turn or drifts into other lanes, the officer may enough grounds to make a stop.

Other indications that a driver might be under the influence of drugs or alcohol include having near misses with cars or objects, driving too slowly, constant braking and coming to a stop in the middle of the road for no obvious reason. Also, an officer might form the conclusion that a driver is under the influence during the course of a traffic stop for another infraction.

Probable cause

While an officer has to meet the reasonable suspicion test in order to stop you, he or she must have probable cause in order to actually arrest you. In other words, if a law enforcement officer pulls you over and performs various field sobriety tests, such as a Breathalyzer or balance test, and you pass them all with flying colors, the officer may not have enough probable cause to arrest you for a DUI.

In order to make the arrest, a police officer has to have enough evidence that you committed or participated in a crime. For example, if you failed one or more of the field sobriety tests, that might be enough evidence for the officer to place you under arrest.

If you are facing a DUI charge, it is vital to remember that you still have rights. You have the right to defend yourself against the charges. With a strong defense, you might be able to beat the charges and avoid a DUI conviction.

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  • AV- Peer Review Rated
  • South Carolina Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers
  • South Carolina Bar
  • Super Lawyers
  • Country Bar Association
  • NACDL- National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers
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Price Law Firm, P.A.
644 East Washington Street
Greenville, SC 29601

Phone: 864-501-9627
Fax: 864-242-6560
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