DWI After An Invalid Traffic Stop
The hardest DWI cases to defend are the ones where the client was obviously inebriated, but even then, some circumstances can make the prosecution’s case fall apart. For instance, if a police officer makes an invalid traffic stop, all the evidence collected as a result of the stop can and needs to be suppressed.
In such cases, the defense’s lawyer asks jurors how they would feel if a police officer was to enter their home with no warrant and went through their medicine cabinet to find out which prescriptions they are currently taking. In most instances, jurors agree that it there where they would draw the line. Since, if the police can stop an intoxicated driver unlawfully, they can do the same to you too,
Law enforcement officials should not be able to search your house without a warrant and neither should they be able to search your vehicle after an invalid traffic stop. The Fourth Amendment protects both you and I against unreasonable seizures and searches. The Constitution was created to ensure that the rights of all American citizens are protected, and not just the innocent.
Every attorney should ensure that they counsel their clients about their legal rights. If you, as a lawyer, aren’t knowledgeable of the law concerning whether or not a police officer made an invalid stop, it will be very hard if not impossible for you to get the stop suppressed.
It is advisable to take a phlebotomy course; read Missouri v. McNeely, Bullcoming v. New Mexico; join the Texas Criminal Defense Lawyers Association, the DUI Defense Lawyers Association, and the National College for DUI Defense; and attend advance DWI seminars and courses to help you achieve valuable experience and trial techniques. You should never pass on the opportunity to cross-examine a police officer or attend an Administrative License Review (ALR) whenever you get the chance to do that.
Looking forward, it is highly likely that there will be a drastic increase in DWI cases that involve prescription drugs, rather than alcohol or illegal drugs, and such cases will increasingly involve a Drug Recognition Expert (DRE).
Fortunately, it is usually possible to refute the testimony of DREs, since once the defense starts asking highly technical toxicology questions, they almost always never know the answers. Million-dollar grants have been given out to develop DRE programs; and, in the future, you are likely to start seeing police officers arresting students, housewives, and perhaps even some of your neighbors for taking prescription drugs and driving.
If you hire an attorney that doesn’t know what he/she is doing and isn’t DRE-certified, he/may advise you to plead guilty since you had alcohol and/or drugs in your system and he/she lacks the knowledge required to defend your properly.
Never give up the fight without knowing your case inside and out.