Turned at a stoplight, signal on. Said I hesitated before moving. Car in front of me hesitated. Pulled me over. What is his basis for probable cause? Took FSTs. Sorry, did not decline now that I know. He failed me. Poor instructions, at a truck stop, lots of traffic and lights, uneven pavement, no line, ankle sprain 1 month prior and casted. Did not ask if I could perform "tests". I was tired. His report seemed to be a template. No traffic violations since speeding ticket 30 years ago.
"There was no probable cause to stop me."
Let me start by stating that "probable cause," which is determined using a "totality of the circumstances" standard, is ultimately decided by a judge in the court having jurisdiction and venue over your criminal case. "Pearl, MS," is listed as where you might possibly reside, or perhaps where this occurred. If this charge occurred in Pearl, I can tell you from experience that (a) at least one police report (in the form of a written narrative) will exist, and (b) a video showing exactly what occurred will most likely exist as well. This evidence is crucial in the development of a defense in this case. These things can be obtained if appropriate measures are followed. From what you have described, however, it appears quite likely that no traffic violation occurred. The analysis doesn't necessarily stop there, though, because trial judges use a "mistake of fact" versus "mistake of law" measurement in determining whether "probable cause to believe that traffic violation occurred," and even if you are indeed "NOT GUILTY" of the underlying traffic violation, the subsequent evidence obtained from it (that is, the evidence leading to your arrest and charge for DUI) can be still be admissible. A qualified trial attorney is needed to fully analyze your case.
"What is his basis for probable cause?"
See my response from above.
"Took FSTs. Sorry, did not decline now that I know. He failed me. Poor instructions, at a truck stop, lots of traffic and lights, uneven pavement, no line, ankle sprain 1 month prior and casted. Did not ask if I could perform "tests". I was tired. His report seemed to be a template."
In a nutshell, these facts will go to the weight and credibility of the evidence that the arresting officer intends to present against you in trial. Once again, you are best advised to contact a qualified DUI trial lawyer to go through this case with you.
"No traffic violations since speeding ticket 30 years ago."
Unfortunately, prosecutors (and officers) will laugh at this. Past good conduct, in their eyes, doesn't just any alleged bad or criminal conduct for which you will be prosecuted for. DUI is a serious, SERIOUS, offense, and if possible, please see http://www.avvo.com/legal-guides/ugc/12-tips-fo... for tips on choosing the right lawyer to help you with this case. And remember, one who represents himself not only has a fool for a client, but a fool for a lawyer as well.
Lance O. Mixon
Attorney & Counselor at Law
In addition to the best answer you will ever hear about probable cause to stop, from Mr.Mixon,I would also add the following.While you have the absolute right to defend yourself,I have never seen anyone win their own DUI,so you need a DUI Attorney.Next speak with several Attorney's so that you can make a better decision on who will repsent you in court.Third go to rating services such as AVVO(this one) and see if/how your Attorney is rated,and what other Attorney's,and former clients have to say about them.When you meet with your Attorney please be prepared to question his/her credentials.Please visit www.mississippidui.com and look for questions to ask a DUI lawyer before hiring that Attorney.Please remember nothing good happens in court without a good Attorney.
Unfortunately you have just learned how very little it takes for an officer to charge you with DUI. The above two answers, by the above two very skilled attorneys, covers your legalities. In essence, the only chance you have at getting out of this is to hire an attorney and hope that there are discrepancies in the file that will allow a learned counsellor to get the charges dismiss. Good Luck. I also agree with Vic, check out several lawyers then pick one.
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