There are mistakes you should avoid making after a DWI arrest, however, you must also know that law enforcement officials are not without fault. In fact, countless case records in Minnesota and throughout the country are filled with examples of police officers that commit oversights, cut corners, and make rash decisions.
Don’t think your fate is sealed if you’ve been arrested for DWI. It is possible to use a police officer’s mistakes during the DWI investigation against them in order to either help you get your charges reduced or dismissed entirely.
Some of the most common mistakes police officers make in DWI arrests are:
1. No reasonable suspicion for a traffic stop
If a police officer has reasonable suspicion that you were committing a traffic violation—such as having a busted taillight or driving erratically—then the traffic stop is considered to be legal. If the officer did not have justification for the traffic stop, however, then a motion from your lawyer may suppress any evidence collected after the traffic stop. An officer may not stop you simply because you seem suspicious. Your entire case may therefore be dismissed since a DWI conviction rests mainly on evidence legally collected.
2. Assuming you were intoxicated
Did the police officer assume you were intoxicated because of the odor of an alcoholic beverage? While the odor of alcohol may support the assumption of consumption, it does not necessarily translate to intoxication and is not considered as evidence. If the smell of alcohol is all that the officer is relying on, then your attorney may be able to get the charges against you reduced or dismissed.
3. Conducting FSTs unfairly
Were you asked to perform a field sobriety test in less than ideal circumstances? Were you properly instructed on how to perform the test? There are numerous types of field sobriety tests—all of which must be given in accordance with guidelines established by the NHTSA. When officers fail to comply with the guidelines, then your attorney may take the opportunity to create a defense that the test results are unreliable or that the validity of the test was compromised.
4. Not following Implied Consent procedure
Before requesting a sample of your urine, breath or blood, the police officer must inform you of your right to call an attorney. If the officer failed to inform you of your right to call an attorney or failed to make resources available to you so that you could contact a legal professional, then a strong argument may be made to exclude the results of your test.
Why You Need a DWI Attorney
If you are like most people, you were probably unaware of the fact that the police could make mistakes during a DWI arrest. Law enforcement officials must follow very strict procedures during a DWI stop and subsequent arrest. If a part of the procedure is not followed, then the arrest may be considered invalid. It is in your best interests to contact an attorney who can thoroughly review your DWI case.