Many people in Missoula may be quick to rush to judgment against a person charged with driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol due to the perception that such an offense shows am indifference for the safety of others on the part of the accused. Yet even in cases where an offense stirs up such emotion in others, it is important to remember that an accused person does indeed have rights, among which is the expectation that law enforcement officials will follow the proper protocols when proceeding with their actions. A failure to do so could hinder one’s chances of receiving fair and impartial judgment when the time comes for their case to be heard.
One such protocol is to ensure that probable cause exists to justify investigating and subsequently charging a person for DUI. A judge recently determined that such cause did not exist in the case of an Illinois man arrested and charged with this offense following a car accident in August of last year. The man’s attorney argued that he successfully completed the roadside sobriety test administered to him prior to refusing to submit to any more testing until he had a lawyer present. His refusal automatically triggered a suspension of his driving privilege, which could now be reinstated if the charges against him are ultimately dropped.
While some might argue that defendants in cases such as this are simply exploiting loopholes in the law, what is lost in this argument is the fact that evidentiary and procedural rules and regulations are in place to protect peoples’ rights. If authorities do not respect them, such actions could result in people facing unwarranted criminal charges. Those needing to make such an argument may want to turn to a criminal defense attorney for assistance in doing so.