Law enforcement must follow the law when stopping or arresting drivers. There are two different legal standards that apply to OVI stops and arrests: Reasonable Suspicion and Probable Cause.
Reasonable suspicion is acceptable suspicion that a crime has been, is being, or will be committed. It is a reasonable belief based on facts or circumstances and is informed by law enforcement training and experience. Reasonable suspicion is seen as more than a guess or hunch but less than probable cause. This would require stating a reason to stop a driver before an OVI investigation. Law enforcement would meet this requirement when the driver is stopped for a traffic violation and observes a sign of alcohol consumption.
Probable cause gives law enforcement more acting power than reasonable suspicion – they have the right to make an arrest, search a person or property and obtain a warrant. There will be satisfactory facts and/or hard evidence that criminal activity has been, is being, or will be committed and law enforcement can act on that information. During an OVI stop, law enforcement might notice an odor of alcohol, bloodshot eyes or slurred speech and will ask if the driver has been drinking. The driver has the right to remain silent and refuse to answer the questions regarding whether there was drinking, when or how much. Call the best criminal defense attorney. This information must be articulated well for any action to hold up in court.
A skilled criminal defense attorney might be able to use lack of reasonable suspicion or probable cause as a part of a defense. Occasionally, this might even be enough to base the entire defense on.
The Bottom Line: Whether you have taken a field sobriety test or not, and have been arrested for an OVI, you need to meet with the best criminal defense attorney to discuss all the facts. Give me a call and let me find the weaknesses in the prosecutor’s case and provide you with the strongest possible defense. 513.260.2099