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Top Ten Tips > Fighting a DUI Arrest

2. Initial Police Detention

DUI Traffic Stop The best Sonoma DUI lawyers will be sure to ask you almost immediately one of the most important questions in connection with any DUI arrest, "how did you first come in contact with the police?"

If the initial encounter between you and the police was not consensual, meaning the officer didn't just walk up to you like anyone else, but rather you were pulled over first by patrol car lights, then a good Santa Rosa DUI attorney will explain to you that the police must have a warrant, or reasonable suspicion to believe a crime (a DUI or another crime) has been or is being committed, or some other compelling reason to stop or detain you and interfere with whatever you were doing before the encounter or interfering with your freedom to leave before the DUI arrest.

Typically, initial stops in Sonoma County DUI cases are justified by the officer asserting that he/she observed one or more vehicle code violations, such as speeding, failure to make a complete stop at stop sign or traffic signal, no front license plate, obscured rear license plate, no headlights at night, broken tail lights, dim license plate light, tinted windows, or peculiar driving behavior such as squealing tires, weaving, swerving, or other erratic driving. Click on the Resources page on this website for lists of Common Moving Violations and Equipment Violations which are often used to justify such initial detentions.

Both the Sonoma County DUI court case and the Santa Rosa DMV case will be dismissed if your Sonoma County DUI attorney can prove to the satisfaction of the judge and DMV hearing officer that the detaining police officer cannot justify the original stop or detention, even if the officer believed in good faith that there was a justifiable reason to stop you. This defense of an illegal stop under the Fourth Amendment arises if you were actually doing nothing wrong when you were stopped or detained and/or Sonoma County law enforcement had no reasonable cause to believe you had been driving under the influence. Any good Santa Rosa DUI lawyer will seriously consider filing a "Motion to Suppress Evidence" when DUI evidence was obtained as a result of an illegal police stop or encounter.

Testimonials

Any result portrayed was dependent on the facts of that case, and the results will differ if based on different facts.

Our DUI Lawyers

Dave Jake Schwartz is an Honors Graduate from UC Hastings Law School, and UC Davis, former Federal Judicial Clerk, and Nationally Qualified Sobriety Tests Practitioner. Member of the California Bar for 30 years, Sonoma County resident for over 20 years, handles only DUI cases, including thousands of Sonoma County DUIs and DMV hearings: first/multiple offenders, minors, seniors, tourists, undocumented immigrants, veterans, probation violations, suspended license, public intoxication, open container, minor in possession, child endangerment, collisions, hit and run, evading, resisting arrest.

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Dave Jake Schwartz