Like in any criminal offense, an officer must have probable cause to stop, search, arrest, or detain you. Without any reasonable ground, the law enforcement has no right to even question you about anything — let alone issue you a citation.
Probable cause is one of the hottest topics of debate in most DUI cases, especially in Illinois. Although you hear this term thrown around all the time, there’s still a lot of things you don’t fully understand about this legal standard.
More often than not, your knowledge of probable cause isn’t absolutely right, or just plain wrong. Here are some of the most misguided misconceptions about probable cause:
The Officer Always Have Probable Cause to Pull You Over
It’s safe to say that all Chicago and Springfield DUI lawyers would strongly argue that this is a big lie. Many Illinoisan get wrongfully charged of DUI and eventually acquitted all the time when it’s successfully proven that the officer lack probable cause to make the traffic stop in the first place.
According to Noll-Law.com, there’s a reason it’s the most common defense in DUI in the Prairie State. Experienced traffic lawyers know there’s no one strategy that can always attest to this law enforcement oversight, but it’s one of the first angles worthy to look at to get the case get thrown out.
Probable Cause Comes First Before Field Sobriety Tests All the Time
In a perfect world, yes; but in America, no. In many cases, the results of your field sobriety tests might even establish the probable cause to justify the arrest. This is why it’s better to stay silent and politely refuse to perform any field sobriety test to avoid getting the results be used against you.
It’s Impossible to Prove the Officer Lack Probable Cause
You have the right to counter the claim of the law enforcement that you’re guilty of DUI, but it’s going it’s to be tough to beat it with just your own words. Your traffic lawyer knows other pieces of evidence to support your argument is needed to convince the court you’re innocent.
Establishing probable cause in DUIs is often done subjectively. By all means, you must hire an aggressive and seasoned criminal lawyer to be on your side and protect your rights.