Probable Cause and DUI in Georgia
Probable cause is an extremely important aspect of our legal system. If the police do not have to follow probable cause when making arrests then anyone could be arrested at any time. DUI charges are no different. Many drivers don’t know much about probable cause. As a result, GA drivers place themselves at risk of false DUI charges. This post explains how probable cause and DUI in Georgia are related so you can protect your rights.
A Brief History of Probable Cause
The probable cause standard is part of our Fourth Amendment rights. The Constitution includes these rights because early Americans saw how power could be abused. For example, in America’s earliest days, British soldiers could arrest anyone at any time for any reason. Citizens were understandably concerned about this power. Therefore, the founding fathers paid close attention to limits on government authority. Moreover, they decided that the text of the Constitution itself did not provide enough limits to government power. After all, the last thing they wanted was another tyrannical government with unchecked power.
As a result, the founders quickly adopted the Bill of Rights, the first ten amendments to the Constitution. The Fourth Amendment protects against unreasonable search and seizure. Years of case law and Supreme Court decisions produced what is now known as the probable cause standard. As you can see, this standard is grounded in very real fears of a government with too much power.
Probable Cause and DUI in Georgia
There is a long history of Supreme Court Cases that deal with probable cause. The police must have probable cause to search someone’s property. Moreover, they must have probable cause to get a warrant to search. Furthermore, they need probable cause to arrest someone.
Probable cause is the subject of most criminal defense challenges. Police do not always follow the guidelines they’re supposed to. Their failure to obey the Constitution puts everyone’s rights at risk. Therefore, it’s no surprise that so many criminal defense cases center on whether or not the police conducted their searches and arrests according to the law.
DUI charges are no different than any other crime in this regard. The police must collect evidence the correct way. Moreover, the evidence they collect must be enough to justify an arrest. If the police arrest someone without getting enough evidence, then that person has had their rights violated. As a result, many of the best DUI lawyers in Georgia use this standard to defend their clients.
DUI attorneys can use a legal tool known as a motion to dismiss. A motion is a request for a judge to listen to a legal argument. Judges grant hearings based on the motions filed by lawyers. A successful motion to dismiss results in the court dropping DUI charges against the defendant.
Skilled DUI lawyers find several different reasons for a judge to dismiss a case. Motions to dismiss are extremely effective when they are based on arguments about probable cause. Judges understand the importance of the Constitution. Moreover, they understand how important the Fourth Amendment is when it comes to protecting people’s rights. Therefore, judges might be more willing to dismiss a case because of lack of probable cause than they would for other reasons.
The Difference Between Probable Cause and Reasonable Suspicion
It is important to understand the difference between probable cause and reasonable suspicion before learning how probable cause works in DUI cases. People are easily confused by the two standards. However, knowing the difference means ensuring your rights are protected.
Reasonable suspicion is another legal standard used to evaluate evidence. Specifically, reasonable suspicion is when the police think a crime has been committed based on their training and instincts. Probable cause occurs when there are facts and evidence to show a crime has been committed.
For example, assume a scenario where a child wants a cookie but isn’t allowed to have one. If the child has been constantly complaining that they want a cookie and then stops complaining, then the parent might have a hunch the child stole a cookie. This is reasonable suspicion. However, if the child is covered in cookie crumbs then there is evidence they took the cookie. This is probable cause.
Police are generally not allowed to use reasonable suspicion as the basis to collect evidence. They are also not allowed to use reasonable suspicion to make an arrest. Additionally, previous DUI arrests are not evidence that you’re currently intoxicated. As a result, a motion to dismiss based on probable cause can be effective for people with multiple DUI charges or those facing felony DUI charges. As you can see, understanding the difference between reasonable suspicion and probable cause goes a long way toward protecting your rights.
What is Probable Cause for DUI Cases?
The police start collecting evidence for a DUI before they even talk to you. The driver’s behavior on the road, speed, and other factors all contribute to evidence of a crime. Most DUI charges start with traffic stops that started with speeding or lane violations.
Once police have some evidence of DUI they look for more. Police officers ask drivers to take a field sobriety test. It is important to remember that these tests are voluntary and that you can’t be forced to do them. Field sobriety tests put drivers through a series of steps. Police use the driver’s performance as evidence for DUI. They make an arrest once they have enough evidence to have probable cause that the driver is breaking the law.
However, field sobriety tests are very subjective. Therefore, DUI lawyers challenge the notion that the results of the test give evidence of DUI. A skilled DUI lawyer explains why the tests don’t actually provide evidence that the driver is intoxicated. There are several reasons why a driver might perform badly on a DUI test. Drivers are nervous when talking to the police. They don’t understand what they’re being asked to do. Tests occur along roads. Therefore, drivers are distracted by traffic. Some drivers lack the physical coordination needed for the test. Other drivers have injuries that impair their ability to do the tests. Therefore, DUI lawyers have several options for challenging a DUI charge.
Free Consultations for DUI and Probable Cause
It’s important to stay calm and focused when you are arrested for a DUI. A skilled DUI lawyer will help you get the best possible results in your case. Jason Slider has the skills and experience to defend you against DUI charges in Georgia. The DUI defense industry has given Jason numerous awards for results and client satisfaction. Jason uses his time as a state prosecutor to find the holes in the government’s case. He uses these holes to aggressively defend his clients and protect their rights. He has taken more than 100 DUI cases to jury trial. His results speak for themselves.
Jason offers free consultations for DUI cases. He’ll help you understand probable cause as it relates to your case. Jason will explain the different options in your case. As a result, you’ll have a much better understanding of your legal options. He is frequently able to get charges dismissed or substantially reduced. Call 706-208-1514 or contact him today to set up a free consultation. There’s no risk and no obligation. You’ll leave with a better understanding of your rights and your case. The sooner Jason starts working on your case, the better your defense will be, so call now!