It’s frightening and overwhelming to face criminal charges, especially those pertaining to drunk driving. Will you lose your right to drive? What will this mean for your future? Even a first offense can seriously impact your life, and it’s worthwhile to work diligently to defend your future interests and keep your criminal record clean.
One of the first steps for developing your DUI defense is to determine whether you experienced a violation of your personal rights in any way. This includes during your interaction with North Carolina law enforcement and your arrest. If you did, this could be sufficient reason to challenge your arrest and the entire case against you. It may be helpful to learn more about what to expect from a DUI arrest.
What happens first?
Police must have a valid reason to make an arrest. With a DUI, this usually happens after officers observe behaviors they believe are consistent with drunk driving. If they pull a driver over, police can then ask him or her to submit to certain types of sobriety tests. They may also ask the person to submit to a chemical test. If the results of these tests indicate intoxication, the officer can then place that person under arrest. This is only one valid reason to make an arrest. Others include:
- The police officer observed a person committing a crime. In a DUI case, a police officer can make an arrest if he or she personally witnessed a person consuming an alcoholic beverage behind the wheel.
- A police officer may be able to legally justify an arrest if he or she has probable cause to believe that an illegal activity took place. An example of this is a driver who may seem too intoxicated to take a chemical test.
- The police made a traffic stop for a valid reason, but during the stop, he or she discovered evidence that suggested the driver was intoxicated.
If you believe that your arrest was not valid or that law enforcement violated your rights through improper treatment, an illegal traffic stop or failure to follow procedure, you can fight the case against you. A close look at what happened to you can help you understand what options may be available to you regarding your defense.
You will find it beneficial to seek guidance as soon as possible after an arrest, learning about how you can get started on developing an effective defense strategy.