Murfreesboro DUI Attorney - Analyzing the DUI Traffic Stop
In order to initiate a traffic stop in Tennessee, a police officer must have reasonable suspicion that the driver had committed or was about to commit a criminal offense. What is Reasonable Suspicion? It is a level of suspicion required to support an investigatory stop that is lower than that required for probable cause. However, an officer making an investigatory stop must be able to articulate something more than a hunch.
Offenses that enable a police officer to initiate a stop could include the violation of a traffic offense, such as speeding, inoperable headlight, inoperable brake light, improper turn/lane change, or failing to stop at a stop sign. A common ground for an officer to initiate a traffic stop for a DUI is a driver’s failure to maintain their lane of travel.
Whether the officer that arrested you had reasonable suspicion to pull you over is very important. Our Attorneys investigate the stop in great detail. First, we obtain the video from the police cruiser camera, which includes an audio recording of the conversation you had with the officer. Second, we analyze the officer's version of the stop contained in the warrant and/or the officer's hand-written report. Investigating the scene of the traffic stop is often times required.
After the traffic stop, the police officer will likely ask for the driver to produce their license, insurance and registration. The officer may also engage the driver in a conversation about the reason for the stop, where the driver was going, what the driver had been doing that day or if the driver had been drinking. Although you are required to cooperate with the police officer’s instructions, you are not required to assist him in an investigation of any criminal activity. Here is some advice that we regularly offer clients when discussing traffic stops:
1. Be polite.
2. Exercise your right to remain silent rather than incriminating yourself.
3. Never consent to a search of your vehicle.
4. You can refuse to perform field sobriety tests.
5. If you decide to consent to a blood draw, request for an independent blood sample. Our office can get that sample tested by an independent toxicology lab.
If you have already been arrested for DUI, you need a Murfreesboro DUI Attorney to properly defend you and investigate the traffic stop that led to your arrest. Call one of our Lawyers to schedule a free consultation: (615) 962-7277.