Probable Cause in Georgia DUI Cases
When charged with DUI in Georgia, there are always defenses your Georgia DUI Lawyer can use to defend your cause. One argument your attorney will investigate is whether the arresting officer had probable cause that you drove under the influence of alcohol or drugs. Our attorneys are skilled at demonstrating there was a lack of probable cause and will fight to get your charge reduced or dismissed. Call now for a free case evaluation.
Probable Cause and DUI
Police cannot arrest a person for driving under the influence of alcohol without probable cause. While the reason for a police officer's initial stop of you or your vehicle may help support his decision to arrest you for DUI, whether it was a traffic violation or the officer was responding to a car accident, the officer must have probable cause to believe you are driving under the influence of alcohol and a less safe driver. Furthermore, the office must be able to articulate the reasons they believe you were under the influence of alcohol or drugs at the time of arrest. Probable cause can be supported by the officer's observations of intoxication such as the smell of alcohol on your breath, open containers, slurred speech, bloodshot eyes, and your performance on field sobriety tests. The officer can also use your responses to his questions and any other statements or admissions you make. If you were arrested without probable cause, any evidence obtained after the DUI investigation or arrest can be suppressed in court. This can give you a greater chance of obtaining a dismissal or reduction in your charges.
There is no set standard as to what determines probable cause and therefore, varies based on each situation. That is why it is critical to hire an experienced Georgia DUI Lawyer to help investigate your case.
If you were pulled over for a headlight or tag violation or another non-moving violation, it may be difficult for the State to show that you were less safe to drive without something more. Many of the officer's observations of intoxication will only show a likelihood of the presence of alcohol but will not show that you were actually impaired, and more importantly, impaired to the point that you were a less safe driver. If the evidence only shows that you were intoxicated but not to the extent of impairment, there was no probable cause. However, this argument can be difficult to prove without an experienced Georgia Ddi Lawyer.
If you were in a car accident, the accident itself can be used to show you were less safe to drive depending on the circumstances of the accident. Your behavior after a car accident can be mistaken for clues of alcohol impairment and can also affect your ability to perform field sobriety tests. This can be a successful argument at a motion hearing to show that these observations stemmed from impact during the accident and were not reliable clues to support an arrest decision.
The best evidence to help prove that there was not a sufficient probable cause for your arrest may be the patrol car video of the DUI investigation itself. The video can be used to refute the officer's testimony of how you performed on the field sobriety tests, as well as to show that despite your admission of drinking a few hours prior to being stopped, you were steady on your feet, your speech was not slurred, or that you otherwise did not appear to be impaired.
Contact Our Georgia DUI Lawyers Today
A lack of probable cause to arrest you can lead to a suppression of the evidence collected against you. Your DUI Attorney in Georgia will use to negotiate a reduction in charges or even a dismissal of your case. The probable cause standard is complicated and ever-changing. That is why we want you to call us today! We will throughly investigate your case to see if there was probable cause to justify your arrest. Call us now for a free case evaluation. It could save your license and your future! Call now.