Criminal Defense Lawyer S. Joshua Macktaz, Esq.Schedule a Free Consultation
In this country, and in this State of Rhode Island, citizens have a right to be “police-free” from arrest. Law enforcement must have legal justification to pull over a motor vehicle to conduct further DUI or criminal investigation.
Police must be able to articulate actual facts which led them to have Reasonable Suspicion to conduct a motor vehicle stop. Rhode Island police officers cannot simply pull a motorist over because of the color of their skin, or because the motorist is dating the officer’s ex-wife, or out of simple boredom (although as a DUI lawyer and breath test refusal lawyer I have seen all of these things, unfortunately).
Hiring the best criminal defense attorney to defend you gives you the best chance at winning your case and avoiding the harsh DUI penalties under RI DUI law, including loss of driver’s license.
Rhode Island police departments aggressively investigate and prosecute DUI charges. Many clients whose motor vehicle was stopped for DUI feel as though law enforcement had no justification or right to pull them over.
Many criminal clients feel as though they were stopped simply because they were operating a motor vehicle late at night or coming from a bar.
I have successfully defended hundreds of DUI and breath test refusal charges by proving to the Judge or Magistrate that the police had no reasonable suspicion for stopping the motor vehicle and conducting an investigation.
Once it has been proven the law enforcement had no reasonable suspicion for stopping the motor vehicle, the DUI criminal charges are dismissed and the client suffers no DUI penalties, including loss of driving privilege. This is another reason why it is so important to hire the best and most experienced DUI attorney to defend you and protect your driver’s license.
All RI DUI attorneys are NOT the same, not even close. Hiring the right criminal defense attorney to defend you can make all the difference in the outcome of your criminal case.
Before police can lawfully stop a motor vehicle, the police officer must have a reasonable suspicion that you have committed some type of criminal or traffic offense.
The majority of DUI arrests begin as a result of law enforcement observing a driver committing a traffic offense violation.
Here are some common traffic offense violations which Rhode Island police departments use as reasonable suspicion to justify stopping a motor vehicle:
Another common justification for reasonable suspicion used by police when investigating a suspected DUI offender is an automobile accident, with or without personal injury.
If a motorist is involved in an automobile accident with another vehicle(s) or with a highway fixture, DUI law allows the motor vehicle accident to satisfy reasonable suspicion.
The answer is YES. 911 calls to Rhode Island police departments by other motorists can be used as reasonable suspicion to stop a motor vehicle and begin a DUI investigation or arrest.
It is quite common for a DUI investigation and arrest to begin with a 911 call. If a motorist sees another vehicle driving recklessly and calls law enforcement, the police now have legal justification to pull the erratic motor vehicle over for further criminal DUI investigation.
This is a relatively new law for reasonable suspicion.
Until a few years ago, a 911 call by itself was not considered sufficient reasonable suspicion to stop a motor vehicle and effectuate a DUI arrest.
This makes sense right? What if a person holding a grudge, or a person playing a prank decided to call the police about a potential DUI driver?
In those old cases before RI DUI law changed, law enforcement were required to make their own independent observations of reckless driving of the motorist before pulling a motor vehicle over and beginning a DUI investigation.
The 911 caller would identify the car and the location, and police would then arrive and have to make their own observations of a traffic violation before conducting a motor vehicle stop and beginning a DUI investigation.
However, this is no longer the case, and a simple anonymous 911 call can be the basis for reasonable suspicion to stop a motor vehicle and begin a DUI investigation.