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AWARDS: $2,350,000 award to automobile accident wrongful death plaintiffs • jury acquittal – double criminal homicide • $1,000,000 award to motorcycle accident wrongful death plaintiffs • jury acquittal – criminal homicide • $465,000 award to medical malpractice plaintiff • jury acquittal – criminal homicide, recklessly endangering another person, neglect of a care dependent person • $325,000 federal jury verdict, UIM and insurance bad faith award to automobile accident plaintiffs • jury acquittal – attempted criminal homicide • $300,000 award to medical malpractice plaintiff • jury acquittal- attempted criminal homicide, aggravated assault with a deadly weapon • $300,000 award to automobile accident/ products liability plaintiffs • jury acquittal – homicide by vehicle while DUI, homicide by vehicle, aggravated assault by vehicle DUI, aggravate assault by vehicle • $115,000 award to truck accident plaintiff • jury acquittal – murder, rape • $100,000 non-jury trial verdict to facial laceration plaintiff • jury acquittal – 1st degree Murder (capital case) • $90,000 award to premises liability/slip-and-fall plaintiff • jury acquittal – DUI, terroristic threats, carrying firearms without a license • $440,000 award to civil rights violation plaintiff • jury acquittal – theft, receiving stolen property • $135,000 award to civil rights violation plaintiff • jury acquittal – possession with intent to deliver a controlled substance (PWI) • $636,000 jury verdict in plaintiffs’ medical malpractice case • jury acquittal – indecent assault, indecent exposure • $550,000 award in plaintiffs’ personal injury case • juvenile case acquittal- solicitation to commit aggravated assault, aggravated assault of unborn child • $250,000 award to mass transit accident plaintiff • jury acquittal – theft, receiving stolen property, conspiracy • $130,000 award to premises liability/slip-and-fall plaintiffs • court-appointed appellate counsel – Supreme Court of Pennsylvania reversal of rape conviction • $465,000 award to automobile accident plaintiff • jury acquittal – aggravated assault • $125,000 award to automobile accident plaintiff • jury acquittal – DUI • non-jury acquittal – dismissal of armed robbery charges • $170,000 award to automobile accident plaintiffs • successful jury verdict in defense of attorney charged with legal malpractice in professional liability case • $140,000 award to injured bicyclist plaintiff • non-jury acquittal – dismissal of 2 counts of criminal homicide • $180,000 award to employment discrimination plaintiff • jury acquittal – indecent exposure • non-jury custody trial – award of primary physical and legal custody of minor to paternal grandparents over natural mother • juvenile decertification petition granted to criminal homicide charges – release at age 21 • non-jury custody trial – award of primary physical and legal custody of minor to father • jury acquittal – DUI • $90,000 award to automobile accident plaintiffs • non-jury custody trial – award of primary physical and legal custody of minor to mother • $50,000 jury verdict for plaintiff- passenger in automobile accident case • non-jury custody trial – award of primary physical and legal custody of minor to father • hung jury – Arson trial (no criminal punishment imposed) • $265,000 award to premises liability plaintiff • jury acquittal – delivery of a controlled substance • $125,000 award to premises liability plaintiff • jury acquittal – DUI • $190,000 award to products liability plaintiff • $150,000 award to premises liability/construction accident plaintiff • $750,000 award to prison medical malpractice and civil rights violation plaintiff • $90,000 award to automobile accident plaintiffs • $108,500 award to automobile accident plaintiff • $80,000 award to automobile accident plaintiff • $150,000 award to truck accident plaintiffs.

Establishing Probable Cause for a DUI Arrest

Police enforcement of Pennsylvania laws prohibiting driving while under the influence of alcohol has resulted in a record number of arrests. The Pennsylvania State Police reported 19,518 DUI arrests by their officers last year. Stopping a vehicle and arresting its driver for DUI cannot be done unless the police officer has probable cause to believe the motorist has violated the law. An arrest made without probable cause violates the U.S. Constitution and Pennsylvania laws.

Probable cause and reasonable suspicion

Probable cause exists if a police officer has reason to believe the person about to be arrested has committed a crime. This belief must be supported by evidence available to the officer at the time of the arrest and lead to the logical inference that a crime has been committed.

Stopping a vehicle to investigate a possible DUI violation requires reasonable suspicion in the form of something to indicate the driver might have committed a crime. Reasonable suspicion is less than probable cause and could result from the officer observing a motorist doing any of the following:

  • Failing to stay in lane
  • Driving at speeds significantly below the speed limit
  • Frequent or erratic braking
  • Straddling the centerline

Reasonable suspicion authorizes an officer to stop the motorist to investigate.

Establishing probable cause for a DUI arrest

Once a motorist has been stopped, the officer will look for obvious signs of impairment to establish probable cause. These might include the officer observing the following characteristics or behaviors by the driver:

  • An odor of alcohol coming from the vehicle or from the driver
  • Glassy, bloodshot eyes
  • Slurred speech
  • Inability to concentrate and respond to question

The inability of a motorist to successfully complete field sobriety tests administered by the officer would add to the evidence of impairment and give police the probable cause required for an arrest.

A DUI defense lawyer can help

If you have been arrested and charged with DUI, let the criminal defense attorneys at Charles Law Offices in Allentown review your case to determine what defenses, including lack of probable cause might be available. Their aggressive, innovative defense strategies in DUI cases have achieved outstanding results.