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Probable Cause And OWI In Wisconsin – What You Should Know

Wisconsin OWI laws – was there Probable Cause to Arrest you?

The term “probable cause” is one you’ve likely heard several times in your life, but it can be a vague concept until you find yourself faced with charges related to operating while intoxicated, or OWI. The purpose of probable cause is to ensure that an officer’s investigation of you is justified and not the result of a hunch or random suspicion. The legal requirements surrounding probable cause can help you get charges dropped if those standards are not followed.

Defining Probable Cause

Probable cause is what it sounds like. The officer must have a reasonable suspicion, based on something you’re doing, that an illegal activity is taking place. In other words, if you’re sober and driving normally, obeying all laws and staying in your lane without weaving, an officer can’t pull you over and question you about an OWI.

The officer must establish that something you were doing was out of the ordinary or that you committed a traffic violation. For example, if you were weaving in and out of lanes while driving, the officer would have probable cause to stop you and see if you were intoxicated.

How Probable Cause Can Help You

If you wind up facing charges, you need a lawyer to determine why the officer stopped you in the first place. Again, using the example of driving normally: If the officer stated that you were driving normally, but he just got a bad feeling about you, that’s probably an illegal reason for stopping you.

With proper legal representation, you could even get the charges dropped if the lawyer can prove the officer had no reason to stop you. However, each situation is different. Contact Eisenberg Law Offices to have a lawyer evaluate your case.