According to North Carolina law, police have the right to set driving under the influence (DUI) checkpoints, also called stops, at random times. Police can then perform tests on drivers if they believe the driver has been drinking or using drugs behind the wheel. However, they must adhere to specific regulations, as failure to do this could lead to legal action. If you believe an officer did not follow their protocols when stopping you, a Waynesville illegal DUI stop lawyer can help.
Our team at Edwards Law, PLLC, can help you gather evidence that can be used to defend you in court and prove that your rights were violated. DUI charges could lead to life-changing penalties if you are convicted, but if an officer did not perform their stops legally, you shouldn’t have to deal with these consequences. We can help you with any questions you may have about your case, as well as protect your rights.
While law enforcement can set up checkpoints and stop drivers at random intervals, they must abide by three criteria for the stop to be legal.
If the police randomly stop your vehicle at the checkpoint, clearly state the purpose of their stop, and share this information ahead of time, the checkpoint is legal. However, there are cases in which police may ignore a rule and make arrests without following their protocol. For example, if you are arrested at a stop and were not told what the intention was, this may be grounds for legal action.
It’s also worth knowing that police cannot force you to answer questions or perform their on-location tests. If you were drinking behind the wheel, you have the right to remain silent and refuse their tests. If police attempt to violate your rights, this could lead to having your penalties dropped or reduced. In this instance, you should consider hiring a DUI lawyer if you are accused of drunk driving.
Being arrested for anything can be overwhelming, and you may begin to worry about what penalties you may face. If you have a criminal history, you may find it more difficult to find a job, secure housing, and perform other activities. DUI attorneys make a living by listening to their clients’ concerns and gathering enough evidence to protect their rights. If you try to defend yourself in court, you may be putting yourself at risk.
Waynesville’s legal system can be difficult to fully understand, as there are many details that are easy to overlook. However, your attorney keeps up with current laws pertaining to DUI, traffic violations, driving while impaired (DWI), and more. They also know how a DUI checkpoint is to be performed, and if they learn that police did not abide by the required protocol, they can help you reduce your penalties.
A: Yes, your DWI charges, as well as DUI charges, can be dismissed in North Carolina under certain circumstances. To increase your odds of having your case dismissed, consider hiring an experienced lawyer to go through your evidence and build a defense for you. If you realize the police officer who stopped you violated your rights or did not operate their checkpoint according to law, your case could be dropped.
A: While you technically don’t need a lawyer for a DUI case in North Carolina, it can be very risky to proceed without one. You may still be overwhelmed after your experience of being arrested, meaning you aren’t thinking clearly. Also, you may not have the experience or knowledge needed to clearly advocate for yourself. To avoid unnecessary risks, hire a DUI lawyer who can support you through this situation.
A: You may only need to provide your ID at a checkpoint if the police officer requests it. Sometimes, police stop a driver and only state the purpose of the checkpoint before asking a couple of questions. If they do not ask for your ID and believe you aren’t drunk driving, they may let you proceed without showing ID. However, if they ask for ID, and the check was done legally, you must be able to provide your ID.
A: It is not illegal to turn around before approaching a checkpoint in North Carolina. However, if you turn around to avoid the checkpoint and violate a traffic law in the process, police can pull you over. If you intend to avoid a checkpoint, you can do so as long as you do not break any traffic laws.
Facing a DUI charge in Waynesville, NC can be scary, especially if you’re facing particularly severe consequences. You may not understand what your rights are, especially in the moment, and this could lead to an officer violating your rights. While Waynesville police aim to keep drunk drivers off the road and protect others, they don’t follow the proper procedures at times. If your rights were violated, we can assist you.
When you speak with Edwards Law, PLLC, we’ll be prepared to discuss your case in depth and obtain any relevant evidence that could help in your case. While DUI checkpoints are legal, they can be considered unlawful depending on how the officers conduct themselves. You shouldn’t have to worry about DUI penalties such as jail time, fines, and license suspension if police acted illegally. To learn more about illegal DUI stops and how we can defend you, contact us today.