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What Counts as Reasonable Suspicion in a DUI Investigation?

Any time police make a driving under the influence, or DUI, stop they must have reasonable suspicion a driver committed a crime. If a police officer believes a driver committed a crime, the officer can briefly detain you and conduct a short investigation. If the officer notices other evidence of a DUI, the officer will probably request the driver to take field sobriety or Breathalyzer tests.


Without reasonable suspicion, a driver can’t lawfully be arrested for DUI. For instance, a police officer pulls you over without reasonable suspicion you committed a crime, like speeding or running a red light. During a conversation with you, the officer notices the smell of alcohol coming from your vehicle. The officer then requests that you take a Breathalyzer test. You do. However, you fail your breath test. The officer arrests you for suspicion of DUI.

In the above example, the officer didn’t have a valid reason to stop you. Based on this evidence alone, the DUI charge would be dismissed.

What is Reasonable Suspicion?

Reasonable Suspicion is a term referring to facts or circumstances that lead a police officer to believe an individual committed a criminal act. The criminal act doesn’t have to include driving under the influence, but a simple traffic infraction. Common traffic or criminal acts that can cause reasonable suspicion include:

• Drifting in and out of lanes
• Driving too fast
• Almost hitting another car
• Driving too slow
• Frequently braking
• Stopping the vehicle without reason
• Driving across the center line

Is Reasonable Suspicion the same as Probable Cause?

No. Generally speaking, a police officer needs reasonable suspicion to start a criminal investigation. To make a lawful arrest, a police officer needs probable cause. Another difference between reasonable suspicion and probable cause is the type of evidence needed. Probable cause requires a stricter standard of evidence. For example, you fail one of the field sobriety tests. The officer has probable cause you committed a crime, drinking and driving. Therefore, he can arrest you.

Contact the Law Offices of Jonathan Franklin

Reasonable suspicion doesn’t automatically translate to guilt. In other words, just because an officer has reasonable suspicion to pull you over and conduct a DUI investigation, it doesn’t mean you’re guilty of any crime. If you are arrested for DUI, contact the Law Offices of Jonathan Franklin immediately.

A DUI arrest and conviction can have serious consequences on school, work, reputation and life. That’s why it’s important to immediately contact Jonathan Franklin for initial consultation. During the consultation, Jonathan Franklin will listen to the details of your case and determine how to proceed. In every case, Jonathan Franklin provides a vigorous, thorough defense with the goal of obtaining a not guilty verdict or getting the charges reduced or dismissed. Contact the Law Offices of Jonathan Franklin immediately to get started on your defense.

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Contact Information

Jonathan Franklin DUI Attorney
6777 Hollywood Blvd Ste 508
Los Angeles, CA 90028