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How do you know if an officer had reasonable suspicion?

On Behalf of | Mar 16, 2022 | Criminal Defense

Are you facing a DWI charge? If you are and you were pulled over by the police before being arrested, one thing you have to ask is if the officer had reasonable suspicion.

Reasonable suspicion is a legal standard that applied to each stop an office makes. A police officer is not legally able to stop you unless they have a warrant or reasonable suspicion to do so.

What constitutes reasonable suspicion for a traffic stop?

For a traffic stop, the officer needs to have an objective justification for making the traffic stop. For example, if you were speeding 10 mph over the limit and cut someone off before the traffic stop, then the officer would have had a great reason to stop you. Similarly, if the officer sees you weaving in and out of your lane dangerously, that in itself may be enough to lead to them stopping your vehicle.

At the initial time of the traffic stop, they may not believe that you’re impaired. They could be looking to see if you are having a medical emergency or other issue occurring. It’s after the stop and after they speak with you that they may decide to have you perform tests and take a Breathalyzer test to see if you are impaired by alcohol.

What can you do if you think the officer didn’t have a reason to stop you?

If you don’t believe that you violated any laws and you were stopped anyway, then you may have a defense against your DWI charge. For a DWI charge to be legitimate, it will need to be shown that the evidence was collected legally. Stopping someone who did not do anything wrong is usually inappropriate and may result in the charges being dismissed.

You have rights and can defend yourself against an unfair DWI

Since every case is different, you should let your attorney know that you feel you were stopped inappropriately. Then, you may be able to defend your case on the basis of the officer not having reasonable suspicion or targeting you in a way that is not legal.