If you have been arrested at a DUI checkpoint in Pennsylvania, your first question probably is, “Was that a legal stop?” Both the Pennsylvania and U.S. Supreme Courts have ruled that these checkpoints are constitutional so that issue has been fully decided. However, if you have been arrested as the result of a checkpoint stop there are avenues available to you to fight the charges. The level of your success will depend in large part on the qu ality of your attorney. Steven E. Kellis, Esq. is strictly a DUI lawyer. With more than 25 years’ experience as both a prosecutor and defense attorney handling DUI cases, he is a veteran trial lawyer who knows all the ins and outs of DUI work. Call today for your free, confidential cons ultation where Mr. Kellis will personally review your case with you.
Avoiding DUI Checkpoints in PA
Pennsylvania law permits a driver to avoid a checkpoint as long as no other traffic laws are broken. A police officer cannot pull you over merely because you attempted to avoid the checkpoint. Checkpoints are inherently intrusive and many completely sober drivers seek to avoid them. Unless the officer can articulate a specific reason showing that he or she had cause to pull you over, the stop is illegal and any results from it can be challenged.
There are many ways to contest an arrest at a DUI checkpoint. Among them are:
- Failure to file a plan: The checkpoint plan must be approved by a judicial officer.
- Failure to follow the plan: The approved plan must be adhered to.
- Non-random stops: The police are not allowed to target an individual car. There must be a pre-determined plan which is followed.
- Improper field sobriety tests: the police must use only state-approved field sobriety tests.
- Improper administration of field sobriety tests: The field sobriety test must be performed correctly.
- No reasonable suspicion to administer a Breathalyzer: The officer must have reasonable cause to believe you are intoxicated to give you the test.
- Breathalyzer test errors: There are a number of ways to challenge a breathalyzer test, ranging from operator error to calibration to improper maintenance.
Time Is of the Essence
In fighting any criminal charge it is important to have adequate time to prepare the case. This is especially true in DUI checkpoint cases. The facts surrounding the establishment of the checkpoint, the police officers’ conduct at the checkpoint and the arrest itself must be fully examined. Preparing and filing pretrial motions to exclude evidence is time-consuming work but can result in the dismissal of all charges if successful. Many of these DUI checkpoint cases are defensible. Do not hire an attorney who will merely plead you guilty. At The Law Offices of Steven E. Kellis, your case will receive the personal attention of Mr. Kellis who is prepared to fight for your rights. Contact him today for your no-cost, no-obligation assessment.