Monday, June 6, 2016
DWI Lawyer Says: “Peeling Out” Isn’t Necessarily Reasonable Suspicion
When a police officer suspects that a driver is intoxicated, he may only stop the suspect under very specific circumstances within the confines of the US Constitution. If an arresting officer conducts an unlawful stop, an unlawful arrest, or an unlawful search or seizure, any evidence against the suspect collected during the arrest may be suppressed at trial. This can and often does lead to the charges getting dropped. In the recent appellate case of State v. Johnson, the defendant, James L Johnson moved to suppress the evidence against him when he was arrested and charged with driving while intoxicated (DWI). That night, the defendant pulled up next to an officer in a left-turn lane, with his music blaring. When the traffic light signaled ‘go,’ the defendant accelerated abrubtly, screeching his tires and fishtailing his truck as he turned into the left lane in front of him.