Police Conduct For DUI
Police Conduct For DUI
Neil Shouse (Defense Attorney) gives expert video advice on: What is 'probable cause' as it applies to a DUI?; Are police DUI checkpoints constitutional?; What is suppression of evidence in a DUI case? and more...
What is 'probable cause' as it applies to a DUI?
Probable cause as it applies to a DUI is the legitimacy with which the police could pull you over to begin with, or the legitimacy with which they could arrest you, and those are two separate events for which the police must justify their actions. To pull you over to conduct a traffic stop of a motorist, the police have to have a probable cause. That means they have to either observe you commit a traffic violation or they have to have reason to believe that you're driving under the influence based on your driving pattern. The second element of probable cause in a DUI case is probable cause to arrest. Before the police can arrest you, that means put on the handcuffs, take you away to jail, take you to take further breath and blood test, they have to have reasons to believe that, based on the driving pattern and your symptoms of intoxication and your performance on your field sobriety test, that you are under the influence.
Are police DUI checkpoints constitutional?
Police DUI checkpoints, under certain conditions, are constitutional and that's why we see them take place quite frequently. However, it has to be a systematic stop of vehicles. So the police cannot use a checkpoint as unfettered discretion simply to stop who they would like to. They can't arbitrarily or randomly pull vehicles over in a checkpoint. It has to be a systematic stop in which everybody who goes through the checkpoint is stopped and investigated for suspicion of drunk driving.
What is suppression of evidence in a DUI case?
In a DUI case, suppression of evidence refers to a situation where a person was either pulled over or arrested without a probable cause. The police have to justify why they pulled you over and why they arrested you, and in court you are entitled to have a hearing where you can challenge whether or not the police had justification for doing those things. Typically at that hearing, called a 'suppression hearing', there will be testimony from the police officers, sometimes testimony from you or witnesses at the scene, and a judge will make that decision. If the judge determines that the police did not have probable cause to pull you over or arrest you, then typically the judge will throw evidence out of court and often will dismiss the entire case.
Are field sobriety tests considered constitutional searches?
Field sobriety tests are considered constitutional searches. However, unknown to many people, field sobriety tests are voluntary. That means the police cannot require you to do them. Oftentimes, the police will not tell you that they're voluntary, but in fact they are, and I advise people not to perform them.
If I am arrested for a DUI do I have to spend the night in jail?
Typically, the police would want to detain you in jail at least until you sober up. Sometimes people are released very quickly. Other times, people do spend the night in jail. Sometimes people spend several days in jail before they either post bail or appear before a judge.
What is 'bail' and 'bond' in a DUI case?
Bail, in the context of a DUI arrest, is a deposit that you place in order to be released from jail. It's a refundable deposit. That means if you show up to all of your court appearances, then at the end of the case, the judge will exonerate the bail and refund your money to you. If you fail to show up for court, or fail to appear for any of your required court appearances, then your bail will be forfeited and you will lose the money. It's money that you put down in good faith, so to speak, to assure that you will appear in court.
After I have been arrested for a DUI, when am I formally charged with the crime?
How long it is after a DUI arrest you're formally charged with a crime depends on whether or not you stay in custody. If you are not released from custody, if you are held in jail, then you have a right to be charged and go before a judge within 72 hours of the arrest. On the other hand, if you are released from custody day and it may be days or weeks or sometimes even months before your first court date when you are formally charged with DUI.
What is the standard amount of bail in a DUI case?
The standard amount of bail in a Driver Under the Influence (DUI) arrest can range anywhere from around $250 at the low end to in excess of $50,000 at the high end. However, this cost really depends on whether there are prior DUI convictions, and in particular whether there was an accident in which somebody was injured. If it's a multiple offense, or if the DUI caused injuries to third parties, then the bail will be considerably higher.