I have previously written about the summer season, and how that typically means heavy travel increases and more road construction throughout North Dakota and Minnesota. Traffic violations and stops increase as well as police and highway patrol are out to enforce the laws.As the 4th of July holiday season approaches, there are bound to be many fireworks shows, family vacations, and other celebrations over a long holiday weekend. With that increase in travel, you should always be prepared for the possibility of a traffic stop that could lead to a DUI or DWI arrest. Be prepared to consult with an experienced criminal defense attorney to protect your license, your freedom, and your record.
Getting Stopped By Law Enforcement
A law enforcement officer must have “a reasonable and articulable” suspicion of criminal activity or a traffic offense to conduct a traffic stop. This is not a particularly high burden to show, but it is a burden nonetheless. North Dakota and Minnesota both have the same level of proof to justify a traffic stop or criminal stop of a motor vehicle. If you get stopped and cited or arrested for suspicion of DUI/DWI, you have the right to challenge the reason for the initial traffic stop. Seek out an experienced criminal defense attorney in North Dakota and Minnesota that can help you answer this question.
Getting Arrested By Law Enforcement
Law enforcement must demonstrate probable cause to arrest, which is a higher burden than merely a reasonable and articulable suspicion to stop the vehicle in the first place. Probable cause is typically based on a combination of things: statements by the driver, driving behavior itself, observations of the cab of the vehicle and the driver, field sobriety tests (which the driver may lawfully refuse to participate in), and preliminary breath testing. If law enforcement places you under arrest for suspicion of DUI or DWI, it is always wise to seek out an experienced criminal defense attorney in North Dakota and Minnesota that can help you determine if there are successful defenses you could raise. Also, keep in mind as I have written before, that refusal to submit to a chemical test at the direction of law enforcement following arrest is a separate criminal offense in both North Dakota and in Minnesota.
Bail posting over a long holiday weekend
Finally, you should always remember that a person who has been arrested for DUI or DWI or Refusal to Test in North Dakota and Minnesota is entitled to have bail set as part of his/her constitutional rights. However, certain offenses require bail to be set by a judge and that can lead to incarceration pending a bail determination. That could mean one very long, unhappy holiday weekend. Most felony level offenses (and some higher misdemeanor offenses) require a judge to set bail. If you or someone you know has been arrested or cited for a DUI/DWI or Refusal to Test, you should immediately seek out an experienced criminal defense attorney in North Dakota or Minnesota that can help guide you through this difficult process. Most attorneys like myself, will offer a free consultation to help answer your questions.