Saturday, December 10, 2011
Minnesota Vehilce Stops (Explained)
Believe it or not, the police have to have an excuse to pull you over. To some this might come as a shock - but that's the law. On area ripe for consideration i a Drunk Driving case (or any crime really - whether a vehicle is involved or not) is the question of whether law enforcement has a valid reason to stop and/or have contact with you. As such, here are a couple of things to keep in mind.
What Constitutes an Unlawful Police Stop?
Despite one's best efforts, at any moment, a police officer can stop and pull you over. Sometimes these stops are based on a legitimate concern the officer has about your driving or your safety or whatnot. However, far too often, theses "stops" are completely without merit and border on being illegal.
An officer is only legally empowered to pull you over if he has witnessed you break the law, or has sufficient cause to believe that you are breaking the law and they need to further investigate your behavior.
Unless you are engaging in specific behavior that catches an officer’s eye, they are not allowed to just pull you over or stop you on the street. If they do this - without just cause - there may be grounds for having your case dismissed.
The police are on the look-out for multiple activities that may indicate a driver is operating their vehicle under the influence of alcohol or drugs. These may include reckless maneuvers such as swerving in and out of lanes, driving excessively fast, running red lights, failing to stop at posted stop signs and driving too slow. Officers aren’t above the law however, and can be held accountable for failing to properly conduct themselves.
What Should You Do?
If your arrest - for a DWI or possession of contraband/drugs - was the result of being pulled over by a police officer without probable cause, an experienced Minnesota DWI Attorney can provide you with the proper legal insight to hopefully arrest overturned. I have ample experience working cases such as these from both sides of the aisle - from the prosecution side and the criminal defense side - and I'm thoroughly familiar with all elements of such arrests, including officers unlawfully pulling over a motorist.
The Rolloff Law Office will look intently into the circumstances surrounding your arrest in order to determine if the officer acted improperly when pulling you over, and thus violated your civil rights. I’m passionate about defending people against charges of Drunk Driving and will fight tirelessly on your behalf to try and have the charges dropped or reduced. Call or text today - to (612) 234-1165- to set up a free, no obligation consultation.