A DUI Arrest Without Probable Cause Might Not Be Valid

The charge of driving under the influence, or DUI, comes along with severe, long-term consequences. As a result, finding a reasonable defense to argue against the validity of a charge is important. One possible defense is a lack of probable cause. 

Invalid Arrest

According to the law, only those charges originating from a valid arrest are generally considered valid. Probable cause is in simple terms, another word for suspicion. In short, the individual needs to display some form of behavior that alerts the officer of a potential problem. 

The reason probable cause is so important is that for a person charged with DUI, an invalid arrest can mean that their charges are also invalid. An invalid arrest is an excellent defense for your charges, and in some instances, might be enough to have the charges dropped.

Lack of Probable Cause Scenarios

What is probable cause and what is not, is not always black and white. There are a number of situations in which an arrest might appear to be valid, when in fact it is not; here are a few of them. 

Drinking in an Establishment

It is not illegal to visit a bar and get behind the wheel. Just because someone has been at the bar does not mean they are intoxicated. If an officer arrested you as soon as you walked out the bar simply because they observed that you had been inside for some time and assumed you had been drinking, it's easy to assume that the officer did not have adequate probable cause. 

Alcohol Odors

Alcohol undoubtedly has a distinct and powerful odor, but just because an officer detects the smell of alcohol on someone does not mean they have been drinking. While an officer can use the scent of alcohol to form probable cause when it is accompanied by some other concerning behavior, such as erratic driving, on its own, it might not be enough. 

Non-Moving Vehicle

Merely sitting in a vehicle behind the wheel does not constitute driving under the influence. When an officer spots someone sitting behind the wheel, but the vehicle is parked and the keys are not in the ignition, it's not enough probable cause to warrant an arrest. The law states that an intoxicated person must be driving for this charge to have merit, not simply sitting in a vehicle.

If you don't believe that your arrest was valid, you should speak with a DUI defense attorney as soon as possible. Given the harsh consequences that come along with a DUI conviction, protecting your freedom in any way you can is essential.

About Me

The Internet Makes Learning about Law Easier than Ever

Unlike many children growing up today, I am old enough to remember what life was like before the internet became popular! Many years ago, I ended up in a messy legal situation that stemmed from a simple misunderstanding. It turned out that I actually did not break the law, and finding that out in court was a great relief! While I had a great lawyer who helped me during that time, reading some legal information for myself about the laws surrounding my incident could have greatly eased my worries during the stressful time. I have since dedicated myself to learning more about the law, so I never have to deal with a legal mess again. I thought I would make a blog to share some legal knowledge I have acquired along with some general legal tips. I hope I can help many people!



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