How Does Probable Cause Come Into DUI Law?
Just like in any area of the law, police officers require probable cause to be able to make a DUI stop or an arrest. But what constitutes probable cause when it comes to DUI? Albers & Associates has provided DUI attorney services to Maryland for years, and knows the ins and outs of Maryland DUI law. We wanted to take some time today to discuss DUIs and what counts as probable cause.
Why Are You Being Stopped?
Of course before any arrest can be made, there must be an initial stop, but officers can’t just go around pulling everyone over, they must have probable cause. Basically officers are looking for anything unusual or anything that may indicate a drunk driver. Things like: swerving, speeding, driving too slow, etc. This suspicion is not enough for an arrest, but it is enough for them to pull you over.
How Probable Cause Can Justify an Arrest
In an arrest without a warrant, like a DUI, there must be an adequate amount of probable cause for the case to be admissible in court. If it’s found that an officer didn’t have proper probable cause then your case could be thrown out. As a Maryland DUI lawyer, we’ve seen a number of cases where a DUI defense lawyer argued successfully that the officer lacked probable cause, resulting in the exoneration of their client.
Typically officers will stop drivers and pull them over once they’ve observed impaired driving behavior. They will then begin with the standard questioning, license and registration, where are you going, where are you coming from, etc. Based on your answers, and how you give them, they may decide to administer further tests, either a standard field sobriety test or a preliminary breath test.
What to do if You’re Pulled Over
Once you’re pulled over you need to know your rights. Firstly you don’t have to answer any questions or say anything you don’t want to, you have the right to remain silent. You also don’t have to take any breath tests, though if you don’t your license will be suspended. You can work with the police if you’d like, though be wary that anything you say or do can be used against you in a court of law.
Work With an Experienced Maryland DUI Lawyer
If you’ve been charged with a DUI or DWI and are trying to beat your charges, you’re going to need the help of a Maryland DUI lawyer. Albers & Associates has handled countless Maryland DUI cases over the years and possesses the knowledge necessary to win your case. If you are looking for a Maryland DUI attorney, or if you have any questions, feel free to give us a call. We’re standing by, ready to help you in any way we can.
Will I Lose My License?
You might. Depending on the type of license you have and whether or not you are convicted, your license may be suspended or even revoked depending on the circumstances of your charges. However, even being charged with a DUI can result in the suspension of your license, which can affect your life substantially.
Will I Lose My Job?
It depends on your job. At the time of your arrest, the police officer will confiscate your license and provide you with a paper license that you can use until your MVA Hearing. However, for people who hold commercial driver’s licenses, also known as CDLs, this will not replace the license you need to do your job. So, until the charges are cleared, you will not be able to work. Getting on the phone with a lawyer as soon as humanly possible is essential for your continued employment.
Am I Going to Jail?
You might. If you are found guilty of a DUI, particularly if this is your second or third offense, you may face jail time. One possible outcome of DUI court proceedings, a Probation Before Judgment, can be sought. If you are able to secure a PBJ, you will be able to avoid going to jail.