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Ask Dwayne B. Your Own Question
Dwayne B.
Dwayne B., Lawyer
Category: Criminal Law
Satisfied Customers: 33404
Experience:  Numerous criminal trials ranging from traffic to murder, practicing Criminal Law for 20+ years.
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When an officer issues you a field sobriety test and

Customer Question

When an officer issues you a field sobriety test and breathalyzer (they put you through a series of tests and call in a back up because they are certain that you have been drinking alcohol yet you register 0.0%) don't they have to show probable cause for pulling you? I was issued a citation one stop at a red light for being passed the white line only after it was found that I had no alcohol in my system
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Criminal Law
Expert:  Dwayne B. replied 1 year ago.

Hello and thank you for contacting us. This is Dwayne B. and I’m an expert here and looking forward to assisting you today. If at any point any of my answers aren’t clear please don’t hesitate to ask for clarification. Also, I can only answer the questions you specifically ask and based on the facts that you give so please be sure that you ask the questions you want to ask and provide all necessary facts. Further, if you get a message asking if you want to do additional services like a telephone call that message is automatically generated by the website and is not sent from me. I, like most of the experts in the Legal categories, do not do telephone calls due to issues with State Bar rules and other concerns.

They were supposed to have some type of probable cause for stopping you but it can be any traffic violation including being past the white line. Often it is crossing the center line, a tail light or license plate light out, etc.

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
you can get a "failure to stop-steady red light" citation when you are completely stopped at a red light? I was at a left hand red light stopped, waiting to turn into my subdivision (side note:My subdivision is directly across from the police station). When I took this information to the DA on the first court date I asked why the sobriety test and breathalyzer were not indicated on the ticket.. I also showed him the newspaper article of the flooding on that specific intersection and he pointed out that he couldn't use that information because the citation had the incident taking place about 1.5 miles up the road. Wouldn't it be reasonable to expect that an officer would know the intersection that their police station sits on?
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
The officer who was called in to do the breathalyzer was extremely agitated at the other officer for wasting his time because I blew 0.0% and was completely sober. It was not until then that he asked me to make the left turn through the intersection and down the road to which he wrote the final citation of failure to stop steady red light
Expert:  Dwayne B. replied 1 year ago.

Yes, you can get the citation. The citation is based solely on the accusation made by the police officer. Getting a conviction is a different matter, you certainly can argue your points and potentially prevent a conviction.

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Do I have any real chance of calling his judgment into question?
Expert:  Dwayne B. replied 1 year ago.

Judges typically lean toward the police officer so long as they aren't too aggressive or rude. There should be a video tape of the stop and often the officer says or does something on there that makes them appear to be biased.

It's hard for someone who represents themselves to beat an officer's claims, but it does happen.

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Will they have the stop on tape? Because the cop ran up to my car, opened the door and forcibly got me out of it. I would imagine a judge would consider that aggressive...considering I am a 38 year old woman
Expert:  Dwayne B. replied 1 year ago.

Most of them record all stops now so there could very well be a video of the stop. You have to file a formal motion for discovery and then have the judge enter an order to get it but usually the judge has no problem allowing access to the videos.