Michigan Court Discusses Traffic Stops in DUI Cases

Michigan drivers are occasionally pulled over on suspicion of drunk driving after a worried citizen calls the police. The legality of these stops is often called into question. Further, whether the evidence obtained via such stops is admissible or is adequate to obtain a DUI conviction varies depending on the facts of the case. This was discussed in a recent ruling issued in a Michigan DUI case, in which the court ultimately ruled in favor of the defendant. If you are charged with a DUI, you should speak to a Michigan criminal defense attorney to determine what defenses you may be able to assert in hopes of avoiding a conviction.

Facts of the Case

It is reported that someone called the police and reported they saw a woman yelling at her children and behaving obnoxiously. The caller stated that the driver was inebriated, but no further evidence was supplied to back up this claim. The caller did, however, supply a great deal of identifying information about the vehicle being driven, including the license plate number, the make, model, and color of the vehicle, as well as the direction it was headed. No evidence of the caller’s identity existed, and the police recording was never brought into evidence.

Allegedly, an officer was deployed in response to the call, and he found and stopped the specified car, which was driven by the defendant. Prior to doing so, he did not verify the reported intoxication or observe the defendant violating any traffic laws. The defendant was subsequently charged with DUI. She moved for dismissal on the grounds that the stop was unlawful. The court granted the motion, but following a series of appeals, the charges were reinstated.

The Legality of Traffic Stops

Under the state and federal constitutions, a police officer must have a reasonable and articulable suspicion that a person is engaging in criminal activity to justify a traffic stop. Reasonable and articulable suspicion is a weaker showing than probable cause in Michigan, but it is more than a hunch. Further, a police officer must have a specific and objective justification for stopping a vehicle. In the subject case, the court ultimately determined that the arresting officer lacked reasonable suspicion to justify a traffic stop. As a result, the defendant’s stop was found to be unconstitutional, and the charges against her were dismissed.

Speak with a Seasoned Michigan Criminal Defense Attorney

A conviction for a DUI crime can result in license suspension, fines, jail time, and other penalties. In many instances, it can also harm a person’s career, reputation, and relationships. If you are charged with a DUI offense, it is in your best interest to speak to an attorney to determine whether you may be able to argue the charges against you should be dismissed. Sam Bernstein of ArborYpsi Law is a capable Michigan criminal defense lawyer with the skills and experience needed to obtain a just outcome, and if you hire him, he will work tirelessly on your behalf. You can contact Mr. Bernstein via the form online or by calling (734) 883-9584 to set up a meeting.



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