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I live in the state of Iowa. Last Saturday night I was

Customer Question
I live in the...

I live in the state of Iowa. Last Saturday night I was pulled over due to nonworking tail lights on my car. My tail lights work fine and I even checked them before I started home. The police officer came to the passenger side of my car and of course my husband had been drinking quite a bit. He smelled alcohol so he decided to do field sobriety tests on myself being the driver. He wasn't happy with the breathalyzer test and I took my shoes off and did the other tests. He handcuffed me and took me to the hospital and had a blood test done to determine my blood alcohol count. I'm not sure what the test produced but he charged me with an DUI. When my husband wanted to prove that the taillights worked he wouldn't let him get out of the car. Now do I fight this case due to no probable cause for being stopped? Will I lose my Iowa Driver's License even if I was picked up in Wisconsin?

Lawyer's Assistant: What state is this in? And how old is the car?

State of Wisconsin. 2014 Dodge Durango

Lawyer's Assistant: Has anything been filed or reported?

I have not received anything in the mail. Just a copy of the ticket that night and a court appearance date.

Lawyer's Assistant: Anything else you want the lawyer to know before I connect you?

We feel that my husband's exwife called the police and told them to pick us up due to her being at the same establishment we were and she broke up the marriage but lost control of his wallet when I came into the picture.

Submitted: 5 months ago.Category: Criminal Law
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Answered in 2 minutes by:
3/8/2018
Criminal Lawyer: Zoey_ JD, JustAnswer Criminal Law Mentor replied 5 months ago
Zoey_ JD
Zoey_ JD, JustAnswer Criminal Law Mentor
Category: Criminal Law
Satisfied Customers: 31,826
Experience: Admitted to NYS Criminal defense bar in 1989. Extensive arraignment, hearing, trial experience.
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Hi,

I'm Zoey.

I've reviewed your post. Please be patient as I may need to research for you, and it also takes time to compose and type a reply.

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Criminal Lawyer: Zoey_ JD, JustAnswer Criminal Law Mentor replied 5 months ago

Police don't need probable cause to stop a vehicle. All he needs is what is called an articulable suspicion -- something less than probable cause but more than a hunch. Driving too fast, too slow, too erratically, too aggressively, too tentatively, having a broken tail light, a dirty license plate, too darkly tinted windows, just about anything you can think of can be a predicate for a stop.

From there the officer can ask for identification, even order you out of the car if he wishes and do a pat down for his safety. If during the course of all this, the officer sees something that indicates that something more is going on than meets the eye, he can proceed to investigate further, and even look into the car and take what's in plain view. What he cannot do is a full-scale search without either a warrant or a warrant exception, such as your consenting to the search, which you specifically did not do.

There is a procedure set down by the US Supreme Court to determine whether your constitutional rights have been violated because all of the facts and circumstances of each particular case have to be heard before a court will determine whether police conduct was or wasn't proper. If you want to fight your DUI case, prior to your trial, your lawyer would be entitled to a pre trial hearing on the issue of the stop and all that flowed from it to see if the police overstepped their authority in violation of your 4th Amendment rights.

At such a hearing the prosecutor will put the officer who stopped you on the stand, and have him tell why he pulled you over, and how it led to your arrest. Your lawyer would then get the opportunity to cross examine the officer and show how he stopped you on a phony pretext and then violated your rights. The judge will rule at the close of all the evidence.

If you're going to fight your case, however, make sure you do it with a lawyer. Suppression hearings are not easy to win, even with counsel. Judges give a great deal of deference to the judgment calls of police who are out in the field. So if the officer has any good and credible basis for your stop and arrest, the judge is likely to find the arrest lawful. No pre-trial suppression hearing is ever a slam-dunk for either side, no matter how good the issues may look on paper for either side.

As for the loss of your license, if Wisconsin is not in a member of the Interstate Driver's Compact, so if they suspend your license, they will not notify Iowa of your conviction. It would be, however, in the national drivers database. If Iowa spots it, they will suspend your license.

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