When you're detained by a police officer, you have a right to know why you've been detailed within a reasonable amount of time. This includes when you're stopped under the suspicion of DUI. If you feel as though you were detained for an unreasonable length of time, provide as much information to your attorney as promptly as you can. He or she may seek to get the charge dropped based on the argument that the police violated your rights with an unreasonable detention length. Here are some factors that may have contributed to this long detention prior to your arrest.
The Police Officer Took Another Call
Sometimes, a police officer will be speaking to a suspect and have to leave because of a more urgent call that comes over the radio. For example, a few moments after your suspected DUI traffic stop, the officer may have heard a call for shots fired several miles away. He or she would likely race off, but may firmly tell you to remain where you are until he or she returns. The police officer might not return for an extended period of time, and your DUI attorney could argue that this detention was unnecessarily long.
The Police Officer Called For Backup
Certain police officers have enhanced training to identify signs of intoxication among drivers, which means that officers who lack this training will frequently call to have a more experienced officer visit the scene. Generally, the experienced officer arrives promptly, but this isn't always the case. It's possible that you could wait for an extended period of time — perhaps because the other officer was involved with another case — for him or her to arrive. This is another scenario that your attorney may deem to be an unreasonable detention length.
The Police Officer Did Further Investigation
Generally, a police officer should either charge you or let you go based on the facts that he or she can gather at the scene. For example, in a DUI case, the officer may use a field sobriety test, a breathalyzer, and/or other means to decide whether a suspect is indeed intoxicated. It's possible, however, that the arresting officer decides to conduct a lengthy investigation during which you're not arrested, but also aren't free to leave. In each of these cases, a good DUI attorney will push hard for the judge to drop the charge against you because you were detained an unreasonable length of time.
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