Probable Cause in North Carolina - DWI / DUI ARREST
§ 20-139.1. Procedures governing chemical analyses; admissibility; evidentiary provisions; controlled-drinking programs.
What is Probable Cause?Probable cause for an arrest has been defined to be a reasonable ground of suspicion supported by circumstances sufficiently strong in themselves to warrant a cautious man in believing the accused to be guilty.
What is the standard for Probable Cause?To establish probable cause the evidence need not amount to proof of guilt, or even to prima facie evidence of guilt, but it must be such as would actuate a reasonable man acting in good faith.
What factors are considered to establish Probable Cause?As in every case involving a determination of probable cause, it is upon the particular facts and circumstances, and the particular offense, that Courts must focus for resolution of the issue. Things like SFST's or Standardized Field Sobriety Tests, roadside breath screening devices like the AlcoSensor and personal observations of Red Glassy Eyes, Slurred Speech, Strong Odor of Alcohol, Unsteadiness on Feet are commonly testified to in court. There may be additional factors considered. Again, a LOT depends on the facts and circumstances of the arrest.
Who has the Burden of Proof?The State of North Carolina, through the Office of the District Attorney (the Prosecutor) maintains the duty to prove there were sufficient factors to establish Probable Cause for Arrest. It is up to the Defense to challenge or otherwise attack the basis for arrest, when appropriate. That may include the method or circumstances surrounding the administration of Standardized Field Sobriety Tests, the opportuntiy to observe and recollect what happened.
Additional resources provided by the author
- DUI/DWI Defense Lawyers in North Carolina
- North Carolina DUI/DWI Checkpoint Laws
- Bill Powers – DWI/DUI Lawyer - Criminal Defense Lawyers Charlotte NC
- DWI DUI Impaired Driving in North Carolina – LEGAL ISSUES – Probable Cause
- Bill Powers – Best Lawyers in America – Membership Info & Criterion for Inclusion
- Bill Powers – Super Lawyers NC Magazine
- Assault and Battery Charges in NC
- Drug Crimes in NC