Unlawful Traffic Stops in TX
Let Our Houston DWI Defense Lawyers Protect Your Rights & Future
Police officers must follow specific protocol when pulling a suspected drunk driver over and making an arrest. If an error is committed at any point of the DWI investigation, any evidence collected at the scene (i.e. field sobriety test results and breath/blood test results) may be inadmissible in court. Without this important evidence, it is possible to get a DWI charge dismissed with the help of an experienced criminal defense lawyer.
At Thiessen Law Firm, we have a thorough understanding of Texas traffic laws to determine whether your DWI traffic stop was unlawful. Our Houston DWI attorneys can investigate your arrest, analyze evidence obtained by the police, and develop a strong defense strategy on your behalf. Our goal is to either get your entire case dismissed or reduce the penalties you face.
What is Reasonable Suspicion?
Although probable cause needs to be established prior to making a lawful arrest, an officer only needs reasonable suspicion to make a lawful traffic stop. Reasonable suspicion only requires that law enforcement has a reason to believe that the driver violated a traffic law or was driving in a dangerous manner.
The following are valid reasons to make a traffic stop:
- Commit a traffic violation (e.g. speeding, ignoring traffic signals, making an illegal turn, driving with a broken taillight, etc.)
- Drive dangerously (e.g. nearly striking other vehicles or objects near the road, drifting from one lane to another, driving erratically or slowly, frequent and sudden braking, etc.)
- A vehicle occupant appears to be in danger, requiring a well-being check
- Police suspect the driver committed a crime (e.g. driving while drinking a bottle of booze or doing drugs)
- Witness reports
- Anonymous tips from credible sources
On the other hand, the police are not allowed to make an arrest according to a hunch—even if the officer’s gut feeling is correct. Officers sometimes stop drivers due to suspicious behavior (e.g. weaving within their own lane, driving at a slow speed, revving engines, or squealing tires); however, that is not a valid traffic violation.
If the court decides your behavior did not pose a threat to others on the road and was not enough reason to make a lawful traffic stop, any evidence collected after the traffic stop could be thrown out of the trial.
Ready to Fight for You Today
Just because you have been arrested, doesn’t mean you are guilty. You still have an opportunity to fight the charge against you. If you have been arrested for a DWI in Texas, our Houston criminal defense lawyers can help uncover evidence need to prove you were subject to an unlawful traffic stop.
Contact us and schedule a free consultation today for more information.