When an individual is arrested on suspicion of driving under the influence, he or she has the right to review all of the evidence and records in the possession of Utah prosecutors that pertain to the arrest. Under the Fourth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution, law enforcement officials must have probable cause to conduct a search and/or to seize property. This means that any good DUI defense starts by examining the traffic stop.
If the alleged probable cause for the stop was not valid, any evidence derived from the stop may not be used against you in court, which means that the DUI charge could be dismissed. What constitutes probable cause for a traffic stop? An officer must have reasonable suspicion that you have violated the law. For instance, an officer might find it suspicious if you were speeding, weaving or driving too slowly for the road and weather conditions. Furthermore, if you were not using your headlights at night or you committed some other moving violation, the officer might have reasonable suspicion.
However, the officer’s mere suspicion is not enough to warrant the stop. He or she must be able to back it up with facts. Most patrol cars in Utah have dash cameras, and the footage is often reviewed to determine if a stop was in violation of the individual’s rights. Once your vehicle is pulled over, the officer may conduct a limited investigation, but you are not required to consent to a search of your vehicle. Furthermore, you are not required to participate in field sobriety tests or take a breath test, but there are consequences to refusing to submit to a Breathalyzer test.
If you were arrested on suspicion of driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs, it may be in your best interest to contact an attorney. Your DUI defense should begin while all of the relevant details are still fresh in the minds of everyone involved. In addition, your attorney can represent you and protect your rights as the investigation continues.