In the next several installments of this series, I will describe the various phases of a DUI investigation and the possible challenges to each phase.The first phase of any DUI investigation is the initial stop of the vehicle. Most DUI cases begin with the police officer's stop of your vehicle due to him observing you commit a traffic violation. An officer can also stop your vehicle for investigatory purposes if no traffic violation has occurred, as long as the officer has a reasonable, articulable suspicion of criminal activity.
Weaving within one's lane, driving too slowly, erratic braking or using turn signals without turning, and executing a U-turn prior to a roadside checkpoint have been held to create a reasonable suspicion of DUI.Once the purpose of the stop has been fulfilled, however, the officer cannot continue to detain you or your vehicle unless he observes certain clues that lead him to believe you are involved in other criminal activity. The officer can arrest you for things he sees in his plain view.
So, if you have marijuana he can see in his plain view, he can arrest you for possession of marijuana.If you are successful in a challenge to the initial stop, the entire arrest is invalidated. If you did not violate any traffic laws and were not in a car accident, an Atlanta DUI attorney will argue that the officer's decision to stop your vehicle was based on a mere "hunch" and that your driving was not indicative of DUI. It will be vital to your defense to determine whether you were legally detained and investigated for suspicion of DUI.
If it is determined that the stop was pretextual or otherwise illegal, the subsequent arrest for DUI will be illegal. Your DUI lawyer can evaluate the legality of the officer's actions. Even if you committed a traffic violation, the officer may have illegally expanded the scope of his investigation or detained you longer than necessary. If you have been arrested for DUI in Atlanta contact an DUI lawyer today. You only have 10 days to protect your right to drive, your freedom, and your criminal record.
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