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

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?

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Attorney answers 6


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.


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. These answers do not create an attorney client relationship. My answers may offend I believe in telling the truth, I use common sense as well as the law. Other state's laws may differ.. There are a lot of really good attorneys on this site, I will do limited appearances which are preparation of court documents it is , less expensive. However generally I believe an attorney is better than none.


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 created. Although the legal information is accurate, it may not be appropriate for your situation. The best way to handle any legal problem is to seek the advice of an attorney.


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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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 specifics of the case.


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.

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