There are many ways to beat a DWI charge. Contact a DWI attorney to explain how.
Charlotte, NC- An effective DWI defense looks at all aspects of the initial traffic stop, including an officer’s reason to pull a motorist over. Sometimes the outcome of a DWI case hinges on the officer’s reason for stopping a person in the first place. In a recent example, one motorist was able to beat a DWI charge because an officer didn’t have a valid reason to pull one motorist over.
The Charlotte Observer reports that the North Carolina Court of Appeals overturned a Hendersonville man’s 2013 DWI arrest because an officer failed to testify that he pulled James Lee Johnson because he appeared to be impaired.
In February of 2013, Johnson pulled up next to Officer Garrett Gardin at a stop light and began revving his engine, the Observer reports. When the light turned green Johnson sped off and because there was snow on the road, his truck fishtailed. Gardin noticed and the pulled him over.
Johnson admitted to drinking a few beers and blew a 0.13 on a breathalyzer. He was charged with a DWI and pled guilty, but Johnson filed an appeal, questioning Officer Gardin’s reason for pulling him over.
In court, Officer Gardin said Johnson’s face was red, and he appeared to be intoxicated. So, why did the appeals court overturn Johnson’s conviction?
It turns out that although Officer Gardin testified that Johnson appeared to be intoxicated, he initially stated he pulled Johnson over because he was driving too fast for conditions. Earlier this month, the appeals court ruled that Officer Gardin did not have sufficient probable cause to pull Johnson over thereby invalidating any evidence obtained during the traffic stop. Also, Officer Gardin was not able to tell the court what Johnson’s speed was before his arrest.
The court also noted that Johnson did not leave his lane or swerve into traffic. No other motorists or pedestrians were around, so Johnson was not endangering anyone. The court concluded that since there were no exigent circumstances present, Officer Gardin didn’t have a valid reason to make pull Johnson over. Police are not allowed to pull people over just to find out if they are impaired, they must actually see a person violate traffic rules.
Police help keep DWI drivers off the roads, but they don’t always follow the letter of the law, and sometimes inadvertently violate a person’s rights. When you retain a DWI lawyer in North Carolina, they will examine all aspects of your stop and make certain your constitutional rights were not violated during the course of your stop and arrest. If any of your rights are violated, it is possible to have your DWI charges dismissed.
Highway Patrol Police Car Next to Alcoholic Drink and Keys Under Spot Light.
If you are facing a driving while impaired charged in Charlotte, North Carolina, USAttorneys urges you to contact the Law Offices of Paulina Havelka and set up a consultation. Attorney Paulina Havelka and her legal team have a solid track record of helping clients avoid a DWI conviction and the troubling consequences such a charge entails. Contact their office today and set up a consultation.