In Georgia, an officer must almost always have a reasonable suspicion of criminal wrong doing to pull your vehicle over. For law enforcement, simply observing a violation of state law, or erratic driving behavior can be enough ‘suspicion’ to stop you and briefly investigate your situation. There are very few times when police officers in Georgia do not even need a suspicion of wrong doing on the part of a driver, mainly at roadblocks, or “safety checks”. These situations are unique and have their own set of rules. You can read more about road blocks by viewing my article “Georgia Roadblocks- How to Survive One” at: http://www.avvo.com/legal-
If you’ve been arrested and charged with DUI, the officer’s reason for the stop must always be closely scrutinized. Frequently, there will be video evidence of the encounter, to include your driving behavior before the officer pulls you over. I have used this evidence in many cases and successfully argued to prosecutors that since the driver committed no traffic infraction, that the stop was illegal. If the judge in your DUI case finds that there was no valid reason for your vehicle to be stopped, suppression (or throwing out) the evidence gained from the stop of your vehicle is the proper remedy under Georgia law. Therefore, the officer’s reasoning for stopping your vehicle plays a pivotal role in your case. Additionally, after you’ve been arrested, the officer will almost always write you a citation (or ticket) for your DUI, and any other traffic offenses that he is claiming you committed. If you were issued only one citation for DUI, and have no other citations, it is crucial to make sure your attorney knows this up front. This is a red flag, and the officer’s reason for the stop must be examined very closely- sometimes your administrative hearing, or license suspension hearing, is the best time for your attorney to get this information from the officer, since he must be placed under oath and give sworn testimony.
If you have questions about the legitimacy of the officer’s reasoning for stopping your vehicle in a DUI, or other arrest, call me today and I will be happy to discuss your situation with you.