Probable Cause for a DWI Stop in New Jersey
The Fourth Amendment to the Constitution protects every US American from illegal search and seizure. If a law officer wants to search your property, you reserve the right to refuse entry unless the officer has a court-ordered warrant. Where drivers are concerned, there is a wrinkle in this part of the law: probable cause. This exception, which is ambiguous in its definition and application, may allow officers to search your car if they suspect you to have engaged in illegal activity. To learn more about the legal gray area of probable cause for a DWI stop in New Jersey, be sure to check out DWI attorney Carl Spector’s video below.
In order for an individual to be approached by a police officer, one of several things must occur. If there is a motor vehicle accident, a police officer has an obligation to go to that scene and try to assist. The officer must have probable cause to make an arrest. What information did the police officer gather when he or she arrived on the scene? Was a driver hurt? What led the officer to believe that the driver was intoxicated? Did the driver smell of alcohol or have bloodshot and watery eyes? Perhaps the bloodshot eyes were the result of impacting a deployed airbag. Was the driver staggering or exhibiting slurred speech? Perhaps the shakiness was due to trauma from the accident. Probable cause may be at issue for the arrest of the driver.
Furthermore, there are probable cause issues when a driver is pulled over. If a police officer states that he or she pulled over a driver who was weaving in and out of a single lane or committed a traffic infraction, that alleged cause can be challenged at a pre-trial hearing, where a judge can determine whether there had been probable cause. These types of defenses are applicable to most DUI or DWI cases.
New Jersey has a number of checkpoints, which are roadblocks set up by police officers seeking to make arrests, and these checkpoints are unconstitutional unless they were put in place for a legitimate reason and were conducted in a legitimate manner. In some cases that my office has handled, we have successfully challenged and suppressed checkpoints on the grounds of unconstitutionality.
Do you have questions about probable cause for a DWI stop in New Jersey? Contact New Jersey DUI Attorney Carl Spector for experienced representation.
As a former New Jersey Municipal Prosecutor and a former New York City Prosecutor New Jersey criminal defense lawyer Carl Spector has unique experiences that few other attorneys can claim because he has viewed cases from both sides of the fence. And because of this experience, your chances of receiving a positive outcome can be greatly enhanced.
New Jersey Criminal Defense Attorney Carl Spector will aggressively fight for your rights. Let his experience work for you.