Must the police have probable cause or reasonable suspicion for a Florida DUI arrest?

For the most part, it is reasonable suspicion and/or probable cause that makes a police official stop and arrest you, if he/she suspects you of DUI or driving under the influence. To pull you over, the police should have “reasonable suspicion” of your violating the law, while to apprehend you the official requires much more, known as “probable cause” according to Gulf Breeze, FL DUI lawyers.

Reasonable Suspicion

Reasonable suspicion signifies that before pulling you over, a police officer should have an unbiased reasonable basis to suspect you of criminal activity. This violation can be actions such as erratic driving, speeding, operating with faulty equipment, or a series of other factors.

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Probable Cause

Probable cause is the basis by means of which judges appraise arrests. Florida DUI attorneys point out that there is probable cause for an arrest if the available facts of the case sustain an objective belief that a suspect has committed a criminal act. Police officials seek such facts whenever they suspect an individual to be driving under the influence.

Now in the show True Detective, in 1995, Detective Rust Cohle (Matthew McConaughey) and Detective Marty Hart (Woody Harrelson) were called to a crime scene and it was a terrible crime scene. A young woman was murdered and strange objects were around the scene, hanging from the tree, and she had deer antlers on her head. This was bizarre and disturbing. Now this is way beyond a DUI, this is a serious criminal act.

Now Detectives Rust and Marty had all the probable cause they needed. If you are driving badly, you may be giving off your own probable cause.

Driving your vehicle can be the primary factor for the police to determine if there is probable cause for a DUI arrest. For the most part, this is just the beginning of the process of investigation. Evidently, there is no need for an officer to really see suspicious driving on your part to form a belief that you are drunk, although proof of an injury or accident may as well result in that conclusion.

Furthermore, erratic driving might not always be the basis for a DUI stop. For example, you may have run a red light but only after pulling you over the officer did the officer begin to suspect that you were driving DUI.

Irrespective of the reason for the detention, once you are pulled over, the police officer will observe, listen, and consider the following issues:

  • Did you act suspiciously and remain in your car?
  • Did you fumble to produce your license or registration?
  • Possible evidence of drug or alcohol use, in the form of odor from your breath.

The moves you make are observed carefully, for probable evidence of any impairment, and duly noted, to be used later against you. All this is sure to appear in the police report, say DUI lawyers from Gulf Breeze, FL.

Arguing Lack of Probable Cause or Reasonable Suspicion 

It can be a challenge to argue that a police official lacked probable cause or reasonable suspicion. But officers do make mistakes at times, and when this happens, there are chances that the charges against you be dismissed or you are found not guilty.

For example, the suspect’s defense legal representative can prove that the police official didn’t have any convincing basis for pulling the driver over. If reasonable suspicion is found lacking for the arrest, then everything that follows is usually inadmissible to the judge.

Arguing a lack of probable cause will not always help you beat a DUI charge. For this you need to hire a sagacious and intrepid Florida DUI lawyer as soon as possible. This is your best recourse if you happen to be fighting a DUI charge.