Erie DUI Lawyer – Do Police Still Need a Reason to Stop a PA Motorist After Chase?
November 11, 2010 | Posted in DUI
By Tim George
Erie DUI Attorney & Criminal Defense Lawyer
After the Pennsylvania legislature passed the new DUI statute in 2004, the question about whether the law requires police to have “probable cause” to stop a motorist persisted – until November 26, 2008. On that date, our Supreme Court held in Commonwealth v. Chase that probable cause is no longer required for police to stop motorists in Pennsylvania. Instead, the Court ruled that a motorist can be pulled over based merely upon “reasonable suspicion” of a violation of the Motor Vehicle Code.
Although a new and lower standard than what had long been the law in Pennsylvania, reasonable suspicion still requires that police point to specific facts in support of their decision to stop a motorist. The reason for pulling over a driver must be based on more than unparticularized suspicion, or a “hunch,” that the driver might be Driving Under the Influence (DUI).
Even with the lower standard, these cases still can be challenged – and won. If you believe that you were unlawfully stopped by police in Erie County, PA, call (814) 835-0400 to discuss your case today. You can also fill out our online contact form.
Tim George defends allegations of DUI, reckless driving, careless driving, accidents involving injury or property damage, and other serious charges like homicide by motor vehicle, manslaughter, aggravated assault, simple assault, retail theft, burglary, robbery, and sexual assault. He appears in Magisterial District Courts (often called District Justice offices) throughout northwestern Pennsylvania, including Erie, Millcreek, Fairview, Girard, Albion, Springfield, Platea, McKean, Edinboro, Lawrence Park, Wesleyville, Harborcreek, North East, Corry, Meadville, Sandy Lake, Conneaut Lake, Franklin, Oil City, and Warren. He has also defended people in the Court of Common Pleas of Erie County, Crawford County, Warren County, Venango County, Mercer County, Clarion County, and Jefferson County. He has argued cases on appeal before the Commonwealth Court, Superior Court, and Supreme Court of Pennsylvania.