Re: DUI: The Stop
Posted by Jeff T. Gorman on 6/20/12
As a fellow attorney, you know as well as anyone that the
validity of traffic stops can frequently be called into
question. I see that a lot of your clients are pulled over
due to equipment violations -- but in my area, the police tend
to pull people over for minor traffic infractions. Examples
would include illegal u-turn, not coming to a complete stop,
crossing the solid white line at an intersection, etc.
It then becomes a matter of technicality; was the black-letter
of the statute violated? Often, if you first depose the
officer to get every detail possible and then get good
testimony for usage in a motion to suppress, you can prove the
invalidity of these sham traffic stops.
On 2/15/12, Kevin Pitts wrote:
> The initial phase of a DUI case is the traffic stop. This is
> a heavily litigated area because if it is an illegal stop
> your case is going away. Suppressing the stop is like
> cutting the head off of a snake. Suppressing the breath test
> is like cutting the tail off.
> What you can do to reduce the risk of a traffic stop is make
> sure all your lights are working and do not speed or drive
> below the posted minimum. Probably half of my DUI clients
> come from equipment issues like license plate lights and
> headlights not working. Many of the rest come from speeding.
> Some of the common remaining stops come from weaving,
> crossing the center line, careless driving and illegal
> u-turns. Driving pattern stops, wide turns u-turns and
> failing to maintain a single lane can be challenged and have
> specific requirements.
> Crash cases can also be challenged and can be more difficult
> to prosecute. The accident report privilege can cause proof
> issues. The accident report privilege is waived in leaving
> the scene of an accident DUI cases. Speeding stops are
> difficult to suppress. If you are going to a bar or liquor
> store make sure your lights are working because police are
> looking for easy stops in those areas. These can be
> difficult stops for a DUI attorney to contest but they are
> also preventable. If the stop is not suppressed the case is
> not over but it is one of the easier challenges for a DUI
> attorney to win. Driving pattern stops are much easier to
> defend in DUI cases.
> The average DUI conviction will cost over $5,000 without
> attorney’s fees. A tag light costs around $1. If the stop
> valid many other areas can be challenged.
Criminal Defense Stuart FL
Posts on this thread, including this one
- DUI: The Stop, 2/15/12, by Kevin Pitts.
- Re: DUI: The Stop, 6/20/12, by Jeff T. Gorman.