Unlawful DWI Stops: Reasonable Suspicion

When Would An Officer Have Legal Grounds To Pull Me Over?

As you may know, law enforcement officers in Texas cannot make traffic stops whenever they so please. Rather, they must have reasonable suspicion based on articulable facts that the driver has committed a traffic violation or a more serious criminal offense like driving while intoxicated (DWI). This governing state law helps to ensure that all drivers’ Fourth Amendment rights are duly upheld, as the United States Constitution states that all citizens are protected from unreasonable searches and seizures. Should an officer neglect to make a DWI stop on lawful grounds, any evidence that is collected thereafter would be inadmissible in court. For this reason, it is highly recommended that you let an experienced DWI attorney from Jim Medley & Associates P.C. review the circumstances of your arrest.

How Would “Reasonable Suspicion” Be Achieved In Texas?

In the state of Texas, the legal standard for a lawful DWI stop requires an officer to present reasonable suspicion, the scope of which has been solidified by the courts through case law. Unlike the more rigorous standard of “probable cause,” it has been established that an officer can fulfill the requirements of reasonable suspicion through any of the following circumstances:

  • Witnessing the act first-hand
  • Credible reports from citizens
  • Anonymous tips to the police
  • Dispatches from the police station
  • Tips from a reliable informant

This means that you could be pulled over for violating a traffic law or even just driving erratically. For example, an officer would be able to meet the standards of reasonable suspicion if they have witnessed you speeding, swerving in and out of your lane, running through a stop sign or braking irregularly. Each of these circumstances could lead them to believe that you are driving while intoxicated.

What Type Of Evidence Would Be Inadmissible In a DWI Case?

As mentioned earlier, law enforcement officers must present reasonable suspicion based on articulable facts when making an initial DWI stop. Once this has been established, any evidence that is collected during a subsequent investigation would be admissible in court, including the results of a field sobriety test, breathalyzer test or blood test that show a blood-alcohol concentration of 0.08 percent or greater. Should they make a traffic stop that is devoid of reasonable suspicion, however, it could be argued by your lawyer that any evidence that has been collected through unlawful means should be excluded from your case. This, in turn, would give you suitable grounds to fight for a dismissal of charges. For this reason, you should not hesitate to discuss your Houston area DWI case with Jim Medley & Associates today.

Let Our Houston DWI Attorney Protect Your Rights

If you were recently charged with a DWI in Texas, it is important that you move quickly to retain the help of a DWI lawyer from the law firm of Jim Medley & Associates. Not only do they have the resources to thoroughly investigate the circumstances of your arrest, but they also know how to successfully challenge the validity and/or constitutionality of the evidence that will be used against you at trial. Don’t hesitate to find out what the legal team at Jim Medley & Associates can do you for you. With more than 20 years of experience in criminal law cases in the greater Houston area, you can trust that their firm is well equipped to defend you against a DWI conviction. Additionally, lead attorney Jim Medley can use his background as a former police officer to your advantage when examining the legality of the traffic stop that led to your arrest. Get started on your defense and contact Jim Medley & Associates today!