For some reason, people who are arrested and charged with DUI swear that they can get the case dropped on a technicality. They may have spoken with a friend or family member who told them that if they pay an Asheville DUI attorney enough money, their attorney will be able to get the charges dropped. This is as far from the truth as it can get. Other than a professional relationship, there is nothing your attorney can do to get the charges dropped. What they will do is use strategic defensive tactics to disprove the State’s case. This can be harder to do if you were exiting a bar parking lot at the time of your DUI stop.
A lot of our clients assume that it is illegal for police officers to wait outside of bars and nightclubs in order to pull over drunk drivers. Not only are police allowed to do this, but they are encouraged somewhat to do this. Law enforcement’s goal is to keep the roads safe for everybody. They will do whatever it takes to keep drunk drivers off the road. As long as they can show the court that they had reasonable suspicion that you were driving while impaired, the arrest and the stop will be considered lawful. The problem is that a lot of people do their research online and get advice from people who are not attorneys. Unfortunately, by the time the defendant realizes that, they’re in much hotter water than they thought, it’s already close to trial.
Here, we will discuss why police officers in Asheville wait outside bars and night clubs to prevent drunk drivers from getting behind the wheel. If you’ve recently been arrested for DUI and this is how you were pulled over, feel free to contact our office directly. Make sure you don’t wait too long to call, because once the ball starts rolling in the wrong direction, it can be hard to turn it back around.
Most People Think It’s Unlawful for the Cops to Lie in Wait
When one of our clients was pulled over by a police officer as they were exiting the parking lot of a bar, restaurant, or nightclub, they insist somehow that it was illegal. One word that usually comes up in these discussions is entrapment. People throw around the word entrapment when they have no idea what it means. Entrapment simply means that an officer of the law encouraged you or put you in position to do something that you otherwise would not have done. For example, it would be considered entrapment if an undercover officer posing as a prostitute solicited you in your car and you considered their offer. You can demonstrate that you were not on the road looking for a prostitute. Nor have you ever paid anybody for sex before. That may be enough to prove entrapment on the part of law enforcement.
By waiting outside drinking establishments at closing time, the cops or not looking to entrap anybody. By the time you’ve left the bar, you have already drunk the alcohol you intended to drink. The minute the officer sees you approaching your car with your keys in your hand, you have made it clear that you intend to drive home. By pulling you over, the cop is preventing you from hurting yourself or another human being by driving drunk. This is their job. It’s nothing personal.
The Officer is Required to Demonstrate Reasonable Suspicion
One thing that the officers will be required to demonstrate is that, at the time of the traffic stop, they had reasonable suspicion that you may have been driving while intoxicated or impaired. It will not take a lot of evidence to prove this. Some of the reasons a police officer may cite for having reasonable suspicion includes the following:
- you were stumbling and had difficulty walking on the way to your vehicle
- you drop your keys on the ground several times before you make it to your car
- when you get in the car it takes you a long time to start the vehicle
- you drove off without turning your headlights on
- you are weaving in and out of traffic lanes
- you stop at a red light or stop sign and stay there after the light has turned green
These are the things that police officers will show to prove that they had reasonable suspicion to pull you over. Once they’ve pulled you over, they would then need to show the court that they had reasonable cause to arrest them for drunk driving. In order to do this, they will need to demonstrate some or all of the following:
- there is an odor of alcohol or marijuana in your vehicle or on your person
- your eyes are bloodshot
- your speech is slurred
- you have very little coordination
- you have trouble answering the police officer’s questions
- there is an open container of alcohol in the vehicle in plain sight
- you admitted to the officer that you had several beers, cocktails, or shots
Once you have been pulled over, the case turns into any other ordinary DUI case. This means that your Asheville DUI attorney will approach your case like any other. Of course, your Asheville DUI attorney will attempt to poke holes in the state case. They will also try to negotiate a plea to a lesser defense.
It’s a Good Idea to Contact an Asheville DUI Attorney Today
If you were pulled over for DUI, you’ll be facing some pretty serious consequences. Even if it’s only your first offence, you’ll be facing a potential jail sentence, heavy fines, and a suspension of your driver’s license. With so much at stake, it would be in your best interest to speak with a criminal defense lawyer in Asheville. They can review the evidence the state has and help determine whether the police officer had reasonable suspicion to pull you over. If your Asheville DUI attorney can prove that the officers pulled you over by random chance, then you may have a good chance at getting the charges against you either reduced or dismissed outright.
Since you’ll have to make your first appearance within a few days of your arrest, we suggest you call our office as soon as possible. Your Asheville DUI attorney will need some time to prepare your case. Since your best option may be to negotiate a plea deal for a lesser charge, you’ll need a criminal defense lawyer in Asheville to negotiate with the prosecutor on your behalf. Prosecutors rarely have time for attorneys, let alone pro se defendants. Make sure you give yourself the best chance of avoiding a conviction for DUI.