At one point or another, just about everyone has driven with a burned out taillight or has failed to use their turn signal while changing lanes. Generally police won’t stop you for these infractions, but if they do, the infraction alone isn’t enough to justify a police search or a breathalyzer. Here’s what you should know thanks to San Marcos DUI defense lawyer Peter M. Liss.
While police can stop you for an infraction, that doesn’t provide them enough reasonable suspicion to detain you further. But that doesn’t mean you can’t be searched legally. Once a police officer has pulled you over, if she sees drugs in plain sight in your car, smells alcohol on your breath or believes your behavior indicates you are under the influence, that will provide her with the reasonable suspicion to either search your car or ask you to perform field sobriety tests, which may include an optional hand held breathalyzer. Unfortunately, there are a great many things that a police officer can use as reasonable suspicion. If you don’t believe the police officer had reasonable suspicion to search your car or detain you, be sure to give your San Marcos DUI attorney all the details you possibly can regarding your arrest.
If your are stopped for any reason, including a simple infraction, do not talk to the police. You may thank them if they let you know that your taillight or headlight is out, but refuse to answer any questions aside from those relating to your identity or to discuss things further. You must provide the officer with your license, insurance and registration, but do not voluntarily agree to a search of your car or agree to submit to a handheld breathalyzer or a field sobriety test. If the officer pushes you to say any more than that, tell her that your San Marcos DUI lawyer told you to plead the Fifth Amendment whenever you are questioned by the police.
Anyone who believes their right were violated during a traffic stop is advised to write down all details related to the event and then call a San Marcos DUI defense attorney as soon as possible. Peter M. Liss offers free initial consultations and accepts all major credit cards. Please call (760) 643-4050 at any time, day or night to schedule an appointment.
Creative Commons Image by Michael Brown