Facing criminal charges for drunk driving in Maryland can be intimidating. You know that your future is at stake, and you understand the importance of defending yourself against these charges. However, where should you begin with this process? How can you effectively confront the case against you and challenge the evidence brought by the prosecution?
One of the most important aspects of building a strong defense is to look at the interaction you had with law enforcement. Closely examining the initial suspected drunk driving traffic stop may reveal problems with the prosecution’s case. Police can only pull a driver over in certain circumstances or when there are things that could give law enforcement reasonable suspicion that a crime is taking place.
Stopping a driver
Police cannot make a traffic stop simply because they feel like it. There must be valid reasons to detain a person, such as the presence of certain behaviors that may indicate a crime is taking place. In terms of drunk driving, a driver must be behaving in certain ways that could indicate he or she is under the influence of drugs or alcohol. This is reasonable suspicion, and without it, a traffic stop is invalid. Observing the following things could lead to a DUI traffic stop:
- Swerving or drifting between lanes
- Having trouble maintaining the lane
- Driving at erratic speeds
- Starting and stopping for no apparent reason
- Making an illegal turn
- Almost hitting other vehicles or stationary objects
Any of these behaviors could indicate that a driver is not in control of the vehicle. This is not a complete list of reasons why a police office may justify a suspected drunk driving traffic stop. In fact, police have a significant amount of authority to determine whether it’s necessary to stop a driver. This is why it is in your interests to carefully review the circumstances of your traffic stop and arrest to determine if you experienced a violation of your rights.
The right defense for you
The right approach for your defense strategy depends on the details of your individual case. There is no one-size-fits-all way to defend against a DUI or DWI. A thorough review of your unique case and consideration of your criminal record can determine the most appropriate way forward. Whether it’s your first offense or you have previous drunk driving convictions on your record, you have the right to fight for your future interests.