Why do cops stop people for DUI? | Affordable Fresno DUI Attorney | Criminal Defense Attorney

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What can I do to avoid being stopped by the police?

Make sure your vehicle is in proper working order:

Lights:

a. License Plate illuminator light:  One of the least often cited offenses that accounts for the most vehicle stops that result in a DUI, is an inoperable license plate illuminator light.  The small light(s) that illuminate your license plate at night is seldomly checked by most drivers.  However, a disproportionately high percentage of DUI arrests, started with a stop for a inoperable license plate illuminator light.

b. Tail lights:  Vehicles are required to have operable tail lights.  When one burns out, it provides the precursor for an officer stop the vehicle for an infraction, and cite the driver for this fixable violation.  It also provides the officer reasonable suspicion to stop a vehicle.  Once the vehicle is stoppped, if the driver has been consuming alcoholic beverages, then it could become a DUI investigation and result in an arrest, which could have been avoided by not drinking and driving, or maintaining the vehicle in compliance with the law.

c. Brake Lights:  Brake lights are important to signal traffic behind you that you may be stopping.  Many modern vehicles come equipped with multiple brake lights.  They must be maintained in working order.  If one is not working, that provides a basis for a vehicle stop.  The most common brake light to result in a stop is the "Third" brake light, usually possitioned in the center of the back window of a vehicle.  Contrary to urban myths, they too must be maintained in working order if the vehicle was equipped with a third brake light from the factory.  Even if it was added later, the officer may suspect it was not and it too could result in a traffic stop.  This is common with DUI arrests, many of which began as an inoperable brake light stop.

d. Blinkers:  Blinker must be used in cirtain circumstances prior to turning, if it could affect traffic in the vacinity.  Failure to signal before a turn could result in a violation.  So could a braken or inoperable blinker.  Failure to properly signal before a turn is a common theme in DUI arrests.  Guard against violation this vehicle code by maintaining your blinkers in good working condition and using them before every turn or lane change.  Good habbits, make good drivers, and safe roads.

e. Headlights:  One of the easiest violations to spot is a burned out or inoperable headlight.  If your headlight is out, you will be stopped, probably sooner than later.

Make sure you vehicle is well maintained:

a. Steering:  Some steerring collums have "play" in them which makes keeping the vehicle in the center of your lane difficult.  The gears may be worn, or other issues which cause the steering to be loose.  If your car is weaving within the lane, the officer may suspect you are under the influence and stop you.  

b. Tires:  Worn or unsafe tires make stopping difficult, they also may lose traction easier, or cause the vehicle to jerk or weave within the course of travel.  It is also a violation of its own.  The police may also consciously or unconsciously take it into consideration when deciding whether to stop a vehicle.  

c. Allignment:  A vehicle which is out of allighnnment can cause the vehicle to swerve or travel in an akward manner.  This can cause an officer to suspect impairment, and result in a traffic stop.  If your car is out of allighment, get it allighned.

d. Smog/exhaust: A gross polluter or vehicle with an extraordinary amount of emmissions being visible may cause the officer to stop the vehicle.  It is highly visible, and easy to spot.  It is also a crime that can result in a ticket or confiscation of a vehicle.  In the central valley air pollution is a serious problem and the regulations keep getting stricter.  

Do you part as a vehicle operator, avoid driver error:

a.  Drive within speed limits: Any time you speed, by any amount, you are running the risk of being stopped, and ticketed.

b. Drive straight:  Failing to pay attention to your driving can result in weaving, having to brake excessively hard, an accident, or numerous other telltail signs of driver error that can cause a traffic stop or worse and accident.  If you drive, pay attention to your driving, for everyone's safety.

c. Cell Phone:  For many officersthis is one of their favorite revenue producing stops. It is also a reason to stop the vehicle, asses sobriety, ask for registration, insurance, and perform a visual inspection of the contents of the vehicle during the stop.  It commonly results in more than a cell phone ticket.  Many DUI, Drug, gun, and other violations sart with a cell phone violation.  Don't violate the cell phone laws, especially if it will lead to more trouble.

d. Time of day:  The time of driving is one of the most crucial aspects of whether or not you will get pulled over.  The statistics have shown that people our later, especially on a weekend, are more likely to be involved in criminal activity, DUI, or other similar issues.  If you are driving at 10pm, 11pm, or later, you are much more likely to get stopped. Once your are stopped, the officers will be checking for warrants, seeing if you are on probation, checking license and insuarance.  Too many drivers who have had their license suspended for DUI, have volunteered to sober drive prior to getting their license reinstated, and been cited or arrested for driving on a suspended license.  Many believe they will get leinancy for having the responsibility to sober drive for intoxicated people.  They don't recieve it.  Don't do it.

Don't Modify your vehicle's appearance:

Vehicle Charachteristics:

a. Tint:  Some windows may be tinted legally, however, it may play a subconcious role in why the vehicle is stopped.  It looks like a kids car, or a young adult which he officer profiles as being out to drink, party, and misbehave.  Further, some vehicles have windows tinted that are illegal.  It might as well be a flashing light to the officer to stop the vehicle and check the occupants for drungs or DUI.  

b. Hanging stuff from the rear view mirror:  While objects may be legal, the officer can use the belief that the object exceeded the size allowable and obstructed the vision of the driver as a reason to stop the vehicle.  

c. Paint:  While not a legal reason to stop a vehicle, a fancy paint job, decals, stickers, and other decorative additions to a vehicle to make it stand out, also makes it stand out to officer, which could result in stop, and other violation may become apparent.

d. Lowered Vehicle: Few things signal a cop to stop a vehicle more than having a lowered vehicle.  

e. Wheels: Fancy wheels do what they are meant to do, they attract attention.  They also attract attention of officers.  They could cause a vehicle stop.

When it comes to avoiding a vehicle stop by police officers, use your common sense.  If it is a violation, such as an inopperable light or moving violation it could cause the officer to stop you.  If you are driving poorly, or stand out from other vehicles, you will also attract the attention of the officers.  

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Fresno DUI Attorney | Madera DUI Attorney If you've been cited, you need to know what to do next. Help your attorney help you, contact me as soon as possible

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Fresno DUI Lawyer Jonathan Rooker: Fresno area law enforcement agencies have some of the strictest DUI enforcement policies in the Nation. The first decision an officer makes during the DUI enforcement is the decision to stop the vehicle. It may be a driving pattern, maintenance infraction, tinted windows, or other issues the lead the officer to make that decision. The next decision is whether to have the driver exit the vehicle and conduct a DUI investigation. Factors include odor or alcohol, red watery eyes, and slurred speech. Timely stopping, parking, and fumbling with a license or insurance paperwork, all influence the officers decision to continue the investigation. Once outside the vehicle the subject may sway or have trouble following directions. At the conclusion of the third stage, the officer decides if there is probable cause for an arrest. If you are arrested, there are steps you should take on your own behalf. It is important for anyone cited for DUI to contact the DMV within 10 days to preserve their right to an Admin Per Se Hearing in front of a DMV officer. Failure to contact the DMV within 10 days may result in the suspension of your driving privilege. Remember, the officer arrests at probable cause, but it takes proof beyond a reasonable doubt to convict. If the officer does their job right, a large percentage of the people should be found not guilty.

Fresno Criminal Defense Attorney: Sometimes good people need help during tough times

D v

Fresno & Madera Criminal Defense Lawyer Jonathan Rooker: Domestic Violence (DV) charges, punishments, and your rights is something you need to understand if you've been accused. DV charges can result in a sentence of probation, jail, and/or prison. DV can be charged under various sections including PC 243(E) or the more serious PC 273.5 Felony (DV) accusation. Many convictions result in being sentenced to a 52-week program, referred to as the Batterers Treatment Program (BTP). The right to own, possess, or use a Firearms, a serious issue for many people who grew up in the rural valley hunting, fishing, and target shooting can be lost forever. While Judges routinely advise those convicted of misdemeanor Domestic Violence that they will be prohibited from owning firearms for 10-years, the Federal Government will preclude gun ownership for the remainder of the persons life if they are convicted of a misdemeanor crime of domestic violence. It is important that the court knows you are a law abiding, upstanding, and productive member of society. Don't let an accusation turn into a lifetime of being stigmatized as a criminal.

"Criminal defense is about helping good people, that is what I do." Jonathan Rooker

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Experienced Fresno and Madera County Criminal Defense Attorney Jonathan Rooker understands the needs of each client are quite unique to each individual client. Some clients are looking to keep their drivers license, others are looking to avoid long periods of incarceration. Many times pride and principles are cited for the client's motivation to achieve a particular resolution to their case. Many clients just want to put their life, family, and career back together. It is the responsibility of the defense attorney to coordinate and effective defense for the benefit of the client. It is essential that I provide the best defense for the individual person and their specifically tailored needs in life. I will help you by building the best defense that the facts allow. One important aspect of hiring a private attorney is the time they spend listening to your needs, and working to obtain an effective resolution under the circumstances. When these problems arise, it's time to reach out for a helping hand. I handle criminal defense cases on a daily basis, helping people with their issues. Let me help you.