You see flashing lights in your rearview mirror and your heart starts to race. Your palms sweat. You fumble for your identification, registration, and proof of insurance as the police officer you stopped you approaches your window. Are you going to get a ticket? Are you going to go to jail? That all depends on several factors, but if you’ve been in this position before then you understand the stress and fear that accompanies it. This can be especially true if you’ve been charged with DWI related to narcotics intoxication.
Was your traffic stop illegal?
But even if you feel like the evidence against you is insurmountable, you might have some strong criminal defense options at your disposal. One of them may be challenging the legality of the traffic stop itself. Law enforcement officers are supposed to have a certain level of justifiable suspicion or probable cause before initiating a traffic stop, and conducting a stop without the requisite level of suspicion or cause is illegal, regardless of how confident a police officer might have seemed when he or she approached your window during your traffic stop.
Why does it matter? It matters because any evidence gathered after an illegal traffic stop can be thrown out, meaning that prosecutors can’t use it against you, regardless of how clear they think it is that you committed a crime. This can give you leverage to escape the most serious penalties facing you, or you may be able to sidestep conviction altogether.
Don’t be afraid to stand up to aggressive prosecutors
It’s scary to face criminal charges given the impact they can have on your life. But you shouldn’t let overzealous prosecutors frighten you into taking a plea agreement that isn’t right for you. Instead, you should diligently work to build the best criminal defense possible under the circumstances. That may mean finding ways to suppress evidence. If you’d like to learn more about how to do that, then we encourage you to speak with someone who is well-versed in criminal defense.