Your Rights when Stopped by Police
The Fourth Amendment to the United States Constitution sets forth that no person shall be subject to an “unreasonable search and seizure.” When you are pulled over, or otherwise stopped by a Colorado police officer, this is considered a “seizure” of you, the person. If the police did not have a valid reason for stopping you, then they will not be allowed to use any of the evidence they obtained against you. This prohibition against illegally obtained evidence is designed to protect your rights as an individual against the government. It has the effect of forcing the police to obey the Constitution, or else they will not be able to make a case against you. When the police have illegally stopped you, your Colorado DUI lawyer will be able to suppress the prosecutor’s evidence against you.
The officer that stops you for DUI must have “probable cause” to do so. This means that the officer must be able to make a good-faith assertion that you have done, or are about to do, something that is against the law. This can be something minor, such as you did not use your turn signal. It could be something more serious, such as you are considered a suspect in a bank robbery. Whatever the reason, the police must be able to explain to a judge what facts led them to conclude that you probably did (or will) commit a crime.
Traffic violations are the most common reason that a person is stopped by the police. Your DUI lawyer will evaluate the circumstances of your traffic stop. The evidence may show that you were detained illegally, and justify the exclusion of the prosecutor’s evidence.