Seeing the flashing lights of a law enforcement vehicle can be frightening for a Minnesota driver. After pulling over, the driver may then learn that he or she was stopped because the officer suspects the driver of intoxicated operation of his or her vehicle. At this point, a driver will benefit from knowing what to expect from the interaction with law enforcement and how to protect his or her rights going forward.
Details of a suspected DWI traffic stop
Police need probable cause in order to stop a driver. This may include seeing a driver swerve, cross the center line, drive at erratic speeds and more. If a driver is arrested and charged with a DWI and there was no probable cause for the original traffic stop, the driver has grounds to challenge the prosecution’s entire case.
Drivers may find it beneficial to provide their identification and other information requested by the officer. However, they do not have to admit to any wrongdoing, even if directly asked by the police officer. A Minnesota driver will benefit from remembering that anything he or she says during a traffic stop could be used against him or her later. Polite, short and neutral responses that do not implicate the driver for anything would be best during this interaction.
After the traffic stop
If a driver is arrested or faces charges after a DWI traffic stop, he or she has the right to fight the evidence brought by the prosecution and seek to avoid a conviction. The right defense strategy depends on the details of the individual case and the goals of the defendant. It is beneficial to seek the counsel and support of an experienced DWI defense attorney as soon as possible after an arrest.