When it comes to Texas traffic stops, what the officer believed before the stop is important if the case goes to court. The officer needs enough of a feeling to legally stop the suspect and conduct their inquiry. This could either be reasonable suspicion or probable cause. There is a difference between the two.
How reasonable suspicion works
Reasonable suspicion would give the officer the legal ability to pull a driver over for a DUI stop. This is defined more by what it is not. Reasonable suspicion has to be more than a guess or a hunch. It would be common sense for people to suspect a crime when they saw these facts occurring. With reasonable suspicion, an officer could stop and question a suspect, but they do not have enough evidence to search the vehicle.
How probable cause works
Sometimes, an officer wants to search a vehicle when they pull the driver over. This relies on a higher standard. Here, the officer would need to have probable cause to believe that a crime was being committed. A reasonable suspicion could grow to probable cause if the officer is able to stop and question the person. Probable cause is a somewhat higher standard that could be questioned if the police seize evidence that they later try to use against the suspect in court. Any improperly seized evidence may be thrown out of court.
If you have been charged with DUI, you need legal help. A DUI attorney could quickly help you decide whether you could fight the charges. Alternatively, they may help you negotiate a plea deal with the prosecutor for a lighter sentence. Either way, you need someone who can guide you through what is a stressful process.