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I was arrested for a DUI, but I think the fruit of the poisonous tree doctrine can come in to effect, am I right?

Overland Park, KS |

The reason I was initially stopped by the police was because my high beams were supposedly on, but at no point before, during, or after the arrest were my high beams ever on. In that sense, is that an illegal arrest and can I have the DUI erased due to the illegality of the arrest? I understand the three reasons evidence can still be used even if the arrest was illegal, but none of them seem to be applicable in this case. Am I wrong to think this?

Attorney Answers 2

Posted

The law of stops is amazingly complex. It may be that the courts would find that this was a good faith stop. Experienced DUI attorneys are quite used to dealing with this. If it can be shown that your stop was bad, then there may well be basis for suppression of the DUI.

The arrest was probably not for the high beams.

Three reasons? Three hundred? You should consult an attorney.

We do not have a client/attorney relationship until you make an appointment, we discuss your case face to face, I accept a retainer, and we explictly agree to enter into representation.

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Posted

You are thinking along the right terms. If the initial stop was illegal, a violation of your right to be left alone by the government, then what follows will generally be inadmissible at trial. The difficulty lies, obviously, in the question "was the initial stop illegal?"

An attorney must review the police reports, watch the video, talk with you and any other witnesses, and possibly even visit the scene to come to a conclusion about whether the initial stop was illegal. The question goes further into "can we convince the judge that the stop was illegal?" Sometimes the answer to the first is yes and the second is no. It should not be that way but sometimes is. Both questions require the analysis of an experienced attorney.

If the officer was wrong about the reason for the stop and realized it, or should have realized it, then generally any and all information which he gathers thereafter is inadmissible and should be suppressed by the court. If all evidence of intoxication is suppressed the prosecution will have little choice but to dismiss the case. The consequences of a DUI conviction can be severe. You really need to consult with an attorney immediately.

In addition to the criminal case, a DUI stop can result in the administrative suspension of a driving license. This can happen even if the criminal case is dismissed. The rules of suppression for a violation of a driver's Fourth and Fourteenth Amendment rights do not apply in the administrative hearing the same way they do in the criminal court. In the administrative proceeding a driver has far fewer rights. There is an absolute limit on filing for an administrative hearing. If the time limit expires without a request for an administrative hearing being made to the Department of Revenue the driver loses all chance to contest a suspension of his driving privileges. Do not delay in talking with an attorney.

Legal disclaimer: Legal disclaimer: Patrick M. Lewis, (913) 558-3961, patricklewislaw@gmail.com. This answer is intended to provide general information about the justice system. It does not provide legal advice nor does it create an attorney-client relationship. It does not provide the basis for making decisions about a course of action. Legal advice requires more communication and information than is possible in this format. Many important considerations and factors need to be investigated and discussed before an attorney could give legal advice about this issue. Before making any decisions about a course of action readers are strongly encouraged to contact a lawyer and secure an attorney-client relationship. Readers must also understand that this format does not provide for confidential communication.

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