Will my (first) DWI penalties change at all if I was wrongfully pulled over initially?

Asked 12 months ago - West Bend, WI

As I approached a green light it changed to yellow and I felt that I couldn't stop in time so I continued through the yellow light. The initial violation was "violate red traffic signal", which was eventually overridden by the DWI. Let's say best case scenario, it is found that the officer had no reason to pull me over initially, does or can this affect my DWI penalties and to what extent?

Attorney answers (6)

  1. Jeffrey W. Jensen

    Pro

    Contributor Level 13

    9

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    Answered . Where there is a question as to whether the officer had a legal reason to stop the defendant, a defense attorney will file a motion to suppress all evidence seized after the illegal stop. If the court finds that the stop was, in fact, illegal, the judge will suppress (throw out) all evidence. As a practical matter, this means that he case must be dismissed.

    This answer is for informational purposes only. By answering this question, no attorney/client relationship is... more
  2. Nick Passe

    Contributor Level 15

    9

    Lawyers agree

    Answered . If the initial stop was wrongful, then all evidence obtained as a result of the stop was a byproduct of the officer's illegality and all such evidence would be subject to suppression (not being admissible in court) as "fruit of the poisonous tree." Get an attorney immediately. You would need to bring a challenge to any administrative suspension you might be facing within 10 days of receiving the notice of intent to suspend your license. The administrative suspension hearing could be very valuable to you in pinning down an officer on his testimony and would give you a good sense of how a judge may view the stop. At worst such a hearing would be a dress rehearsal of sorts for your motion to suppress.

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    Attorney Nicholas J. Passe

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  3. Michael C. Witt

    Pro

    Contributor Level 18

    8

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    Answered . If you can successfully challenge the traffic stop, all of the evidence obtained thereafter should be suppressed, avoiding conviction on the OWI. However, all the officer needs to stop you is reason to believe a traffic law has been violated, and this issue needs to be raised by pre-trial motion. If you are serious about bringing such a challenge, you will need the assistance of counsel.

    This answer is provided for general information only. No legal advice can be given without a consult as to the... more
  4. J Steven House

    Pro

    Contributor Level 14

    6

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    Answered . All the evidence obtained from the stop (field sobriety tests, admissions ...) is suppressed and there's no case left against you IF it is determined that the officer had no lawful basis to stop you.

  5. Ethan Patrick Meaney

    Pro

    Contributor Level 20

    7

    Lawyers agree

    Answered . If there was no basis for the stop then everything that happened after gets thrown out. Contact an experienced DWI attorney to assist you. Sounds like a good case. Good luck.

    This is not intended as legal advice. No attorney / client relationship exists because of this response.
  6. Stephen Ross Cohen

    Contributor Level 20

    4

    Lawyers agree

    Answered . Probably not as there seems adequate reason to pull you over for a traffic violation.

    My name is Stephen R. Cohen and have practiced since 1974. I practice in Los Angeles and Orange County, CA.... more

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