Omnibus Pretrial Motion: Was the DUI stop legal?

In our series What to Expect if You’re Expecting a DUI, we are taking an in depth look at the process you can expect to face if charged with a DUI in Pennsylvania. Last week we took a look at the Omnibus Pre-Trial Motion, and noted that this is an all encompassing motion wherein the accused asks the Court to examine certain aspects of the case to determine whether or not there was a violation of the state constitutional right or federal constitutional right or a violation of the developed case law.  In a DUI context it typically surrounds challenging five (5) primary areas: 

(1) the lawfulness of the traffic stop and subsequent detainment of the individual,
(2) whether or not there was sufficient Probable Cause to arrest,
(3) the lawfulness and the validity of the chemical demand to provide evidence of a BAC,
(4) the validity or the propriety of the alleged reported BAC result or alleged refusal, and
(5) anything else that is suitable. 

In today’s post, we will examine the first point “the lawfulness of the traffic stop and subsequent detainment of the individual.”

Can they pull me over for a DUI just because I weaved? Is it a legal stop? Great questions one and all. It really comes down to the large difference between an investigable offense and a stop based upon that and a non- investigable stop.

DUI Stop in PennsylvaniaIn Commonwealth v. Chase, the Pennsylvania Supreme Court enunciated the proper standard required for a valid vehicle stop in light of substantial confusion surrounding this issue. Commonwealth v. Chase, 599 Pa. 80, 960 A.2d 108 (Pa. 2008). Prior to Chase, in 2004, the Pennsylvania legislature had amended 75 Pa. C.S.A. §6308(b) to require police officers to possess only “reasonable suspicion” that a Motor Vehicle Code violation is occurring or has occurred for a valid vehicular stop. Previously, 75 Pa. C.S.A. §6308 had required police officers to possess “articulable and reasonable grounds” of a Motor Vehicle Code violation in order to effectuate a valid traffic stop. 75 Pa. C.S.A. §6308(b).

Following the enactment of 75 Pa. C.S.A. §6308(b), the Pennsylvania Superior Court applied the newly enacted “reasonable suspicion” standard. The Pennsylvania Supreme Court, on the other hand, disregarded the “reasonable suspicion” standard and continued to require the existence of probable cause. In doing so, the Pennsylvania Supreme Court continued to apply its precedential decision in Commonwealth v. Gleason, 567 Pa. 111, 785 A.2d 983 (Pa. 2001), where it had held that a police officer must possess probable cause to believe that the vehicle or the driver was in violation of some provision of the Motor Vehicle Code in order for the stop to be valid.

Due to the aforementioned inconsistent approaches and analysis taken, the Pennsylvania Supreme Court addressed the confusion surrounding this oft-argued issue in Chase and determined whether the 2004 amendment of 75 Pa. C.S.A. §6308 was constitutional. In Chase, the police officer arrested the defendant for DUI after he observed the defendant’s vehicle cross the center line for several seconds while speeding. Chase, 599 Pa. at 86-87,960 A.2d at 111. The police officer had followed the defendant’s car and observed it cross the right fog line and center line for several seconds and then make a wide right turn. Id. at 87, 111. The defendant in Chase filed an Omnibus Pre-Trial Motion to suppress all evidence obtained after the traffic stop and argued that the stop itself was unconstitutional, because 75 Pa. C.S.A. §6308 required only reasonable suspicion for a police officer to effectuate a traffic stop. Id. In light of these events, the trial court granted the defendant’s suppression motion and concluded that both the federal and Pennsylvania state Constitutions require probable cause to stop a vehicle for an alleged Motor Vehicle Code violation and, in doing so, rendered 75 Pa. C.S.A. §6308(b) unconstitutional. Id. The Commonwealth subsequently appealed directly to the Pennsylvania Supreme Court.

Harrisburg Pennsylvania PoliceIn reaching its decision in Chase, the Pennsylvania Supreme Court looked to federal circuit decisions on this issue, which had consistently held that a vehicular Terry stop to permit the investigation of suspected criminal activity was constitutional. Chase, 599 Pa. at 91-92, 960 A.2d at 114. In doing so, it held that an investigatable stop such as DUI is to be analogized to a Terry-style stop because both are conducted so that the officer can “secure such other information as the officer may reasonable believe to be necessary to enforce the provisions [of the Vehicle Code]. Id. at 80, 108. It stated that, “[i]f reasonable suspicion exists, but a stop cannot further the purpose behind allowing the stop, the ‘investigative’ goal, as it were, it cannot be a valid stop.” Id. at 92, 115.

The Chase Court further explained, stating “[p]ut another way, if the officer has a legitimate expectation of investigatory results, the existence of reasonable suspicion will allow the stop – if the officer has no such expectations of learning additional relevant information concerning the suspected criminal activity, the stop cannot be constitutionally permitted on the basis of mere suspicion.” Id. (emphasis added). Therefore, an investigatory stop based on suspected DUI requires only reasonable suspicion, because, as the Court explained, a DUI stop is “a scenario where further investigation almost invariably leads to the most incriminating type of evidence, i.e. strong odor of alcohol, slurred, speech and blood shot eyes.” Id. Moreover, “[s]uch evidence can only be obtained by a stop and investigation.” Id. On the other hand, the Chase Court indicated that, where the stop was not made for an investigatory purpose, probable cause is required for a valid vehicle stop. Id. Thus, vehicle stops premised upon things such as speeding, running a red light, driving the wrong direction on a one-way street require that a police officer possess probable cause at the time of effectuating the traffic stop to be constitutionally valid. Id. at 93, 115. Such stops, explained the Court, would not yield any more evidence to aid in the officer’s determination of a Motor Vehicle Code violation. Id.

In summary, Chase held that a traffic stop based on reasonable suspicion was sufficient if there is something to investigate, such as a DUI. Id. On the other hand, a vehicle stop based solely on offenses that are not investigatable cannot be justified by a reasonable suspicion standard, because there is nothing further to investigate. Rather, “[a]n officer must have probable cause to make a constitutional vehicle stop for such offenses.” Id.

The best example is in the case of speeding. If you speed, it is a binary concept. You either did in fact speed or you did not. There is no maybe. There is no investigation into whether or not you did it. Either it happened or it did not. They can either prove this through using an acceptable and calibrated speed timing device that you did it or not. The officer pulling you over cannot further his investigation by stopping and asking you questions about it. In this example of speeding because speeding is non-investigable, the requirement is Probable Cause. If the Officer thinks or has a hunch that you are speeding, this is not probable cause as probable cause is defined as the required quantum of proof of facts or evidence (that actually exist-not based upon conjecture, guess or even an educated hunch) that would lead a reasonable person (using an objective standard) to believe that a suspect has committed a crime based upon the totality of the circumstances (weighing both the good and the bad).

Furthermore, in determining whether the officer conducting the stop of the vehicle had probable cause, the trial court should begin by examining the officer’s explanation of why he or she conducted the stop which should be seen only as a starting point. In Commonwealth v. Battaglia, the Superior Court concluded that the officer’s belief that the individual was driving his vehicle in an "erratic" fashion was not enough to rise to the level of probable cause required for a lawful detention of the individual. Commonwealth v. Battaglia, 802 A.2d 652, 655 (Pa. Super. 2002). In Battaglia, there were seven (7) factors which the officer presented to the court which included: "the defendant made a wide left turn," "the defendant appeared to cross over the white line during a wide left turn," and "the defendant’s vehicle crossed the broken white line from the right lane into the left lane." Id. Considering the three (3) previously mentioned factors combined with four (4) other factors the Superior Court held that the stop was unlawful, ordered suppression, and wrote that "perceived ‘erratic driving’ in and of itself is not a violation of the Code and, without more, does not provide probable cause to execute a traffic stop."

What does all of this mean?

This means that according to Pennsylvania Law, “erratic driving” observed by a police officer is not enough evidence to execute a traffic stop. Unfortunately, when police officers are cross-examined, many of them state their “probable cause as “suspect touched the fog line” or “car was weaving”. This in and of itself is not enough evidence to stop a car.Unfortunately, many “jack-of -all-trades” lawyers who represent DUI cases do not have the knowledge and experience to be able to challenge these issues in court. At The McShane Firm we have all gone through highly specialized DUI training and are able to effectively argue these issues in court.



-Justin J. McShane, Esquire, Pennsylvania DUI Attorney

I am the highest rated DUI Attorney in PA as Rated by
You can follow me on Twitter , Facebook or Linkedin.

xosotin chelseathông tin chuyển nhượngcâu lạc bộ bóng đá arsenalbóng đá atalantabundesligacầu thủ haalandUEFAevertonxosofutebol ao vivofutemaxmulticanaisonbethttps://bsport.fithttps://onbet88.ooohttps://i9bet.bizhttps://hi88.ooohttps://okvip.athttps://f8bet.athttps://fb88.cashhttps://vn88.cashhttps://shbet.atbóng đá world cupbóng đá inter milantin juventusbenzemala ligaclb leicester cityMUman citymessi lionelsalahnapolineymarpsgronaldoserie atottenhamvalenciaAS ROMALeverkusenac milanmbappenapolinewcastleaston villaliverpoolfa cupreal madridpremier leagueAjaxbao bong da247EPLbarcelonabournemouthaff cupasean footballbên lề sân cỏbáo bóng đá mớibóng đá cúp thế giớitin bóng đá ViệtUEFAbáo bóng đá việt namHuyền thoại bóng đágiải ngoại hạng anhSeagametap chi bong da the gioitin bong da lutrận đấu hôm nayviệt nam bóng đátin nong bong daBóng đá nữthể thao 7m24h bóng đábóng đá hôm naythe thao ngoai hang anhtin nhanh bóng đáphòng thay đồ bóng đábóng đá phủikèo nhà cái onbetbóng đá lu 2thông tin phòng thay đồthe thao vuaapp đánh lô đềdudoanxosoxổ số giải đặc biệthôm nay xổ sốkèo đẹp hôm nayketquaxosokq xskqxsmnsoi cầu ba miềnsoi cau thong kesxkt hôm naythế giới xổ sốxổ số 24hxo.soxoso3mienxo so ba mienxoso dac bietxosodientoanxổ số dự đoánvé số chiều xổxoso ket quaxosokienthietxoso kq hôm nayxoso ktxổ số megaxổ số mới nhất hôm nayxoso truc tiepxoso ViệtSX3MIENxs dự đoánxs mien bac hom nayxs miên namxsmientrungxsmn thu 7con số may mắn hôm nayKQXS 3 miền Bắc Trung Nam Nhanhdự đoán xổ số 3 miềndò vé sốdu doan xo so hom nayket qua xo xoket qua xo so.vntrúng thưởng xo sokq xoso trực tiếpket qua xskqxs 247số miền nams0x0 mienbacxosobamien hôm naysố đẹp hôm naysố đẹp trực tuyếnnuôi số đẹpxo so hom quaxoso ketquaxstruc tiep hom nayxổ số kiến thiết trực tiếpxổ số kq hôm nayso xo kq trực tuyenkết quả xổ số miền bắc trực tiếpxo so miền namxổ số miền nam trực tiếptrực tiếp xổ số hôm nayket wa xsKQ XOSOxoso onlinexo so truc tiep hom nayxsttso mien bac trong ngàyKQXS3Msố so mien bacdu doan xo so onlinedu doan cau loxổ số kenokqxs vnKQXOSOKQXS hôm naytrực tiếp kết quả xổ số ba miềncap lo dep nhat hom naysoi cầu chuẩn hôm nayso ket qua xo soXem kết quả xổ số nhanh nhấtSX3MIENXSMB chủ nhậtKQXSMNkết quả mở giải trực tuyếnGiờ vàng chốt số OnlineĐánh Đề Con Gìdò số miền namdò vé số hôm nayso mo so debach thủ lô đẹp nhất hôm naycầu đề hôm naykết quả xổ số kiến thiết toàn quốccau dep 88xsmb rong bach kimket qua xs 2023dự đoán xổ số hàng ngàyBạch thủ đề miền BắcSoi Cầu MB thần tàisoi cau vip 247soi cầu tốtsoi cầu miễn phísoi cau mb vipxsmb hom nayxs vietlottxsmn hôm naycầu lô đẹpthống kê lô kép xổ số miền Bắcquay thử xsmnxổ số thần tàiQuay thử XSMTxổ số chiều nayxo so mien nam hom nayweb đánh lô đề trực tuyến uy tínKQXS hôm nayxsmb ngày hôm nayXSMT chủ nhậtxổ số Power 6/55KQXS A trúng roycao thủ chốt sốbảng xổ số đặc biệtsoi cầu 247 vipsoi cầu wap 666Soi cầu miễn phí 888 VIPSoi Cau Chuan MBđộc thủ desố miền bắcthần tài cho sốKết quả xổ số thần tàiXem trực tiếp xổ sốXIN SỐ THẦN TÀI THỔ ĐỊACầu lô số đẹplô đẹp vip 24hsoi cầu miễn phí 888xổ số kiến thiết chiều nayXSMN thứ 7 hàng tuầnKết quả Xổ số Hồ Chí Minhnhà cái xổ số Việt NamXổ Số Đại PhátXổ số mới nhất Hôm Nayso xo mb hom nayxxmb88quay thu mbXo so Minh ChinhXS Minh Ngọc trực tiếp hôm nayXSMN 88XSTDxs than taixổ số UY TIN NHẤTxs vietlott 88SOI CẦU SIÊU CHUẨNSoiCauVietlô đẹp hôm nay vipket qua so xo hom naykqxsmb 30 ngàydự đoán xổ số 3 miềnSoi cầu 3 càng chuẩn xácbạch thủ lônuoi lo chuanbắt lô chuẩn theo ngàykq xo-solô 3 càngnuôi lô đề siêu vipcầu Lô Xiên XSMBđề về bao nhiêuSoi cầu x3xổ số kiến thiết ngày hôm nayquay thử xsmttruc tiep kết quả sxmntrực tiếp miền bắckết quả xổ số chấm vnbảng xs đặc biệt năm 2023soi cau xsmbxổ số hà nội hôm naysxmtxsmt hôm nayxs truc tiep mbketqua xo so onlinekqxs onlinexo số hôm nayXS3MTin xs hôm nayxsmn thu2XSMN hom nayxổ số miền bắc trực tiếp hôm naySO XOxsmbsxmn hôm nay188betlink188 xo sosoi cầu vip 88lô tô việtsoi lô việtXS247xs ba miềnchốt lô đẹp nhất hôm naychốt số xsmbCHƠI LÔ TÔsoi cau mn hom naychốt lô chuẩndu doan sxmtdự đoán xổ số onlinerồng bạch kim chốt 3 càng miễn phí hôm naythống kê lô gan miền bắcdàn đề lôCầu Kèo Đặc Biệtchốt cầu may mắnkết quả xổ số miền bắc hômSoi cầu vàng 777thẻ bài onlinedu doan mn 888soi cầu miền nam vipsoi cầu mt vipdàn de hôm nay7 cao thủ chốt sốsoi cau mien phi 7777 cao thủ chốt số nức tiếng3 càng miền bắcrồng bạch kim 777dàn de bất bạion newsddxsmn188betw88w88789bettf88sin88suvipsunwintf88five8812betsv88vn88Top 10 nhà cái uy tínsky88iwinlucky88nhacaisin88oxbetm88vn88w88789betiwinf8betrio66rio66lucky88oxbetvn88188bet789betMay-88five88one88sin88bk88xbetoxbetMU88188BETSV88RIO66ONBET88188betM88M88SV88Jun-68Jun-88one88iwinv9betw388OXBETw388w388onbetonbetonbetonbet88onbet88onbet88onbet88onbetonbetonbetonbetqh88mu88Nhà cái uy tínpog79vp777vp777vipbetvipbetuk88uk88typhu88typhu88tk88tk88sm66sm66me88me888live8live8livesm66me88win798livesm66me88win79pog79pog79vp777vp777uk88uk88tk88tk88luck8luck8kingbet86kingbet86k188k188hr99hr99123b8xbetvnvipbetsv66zbettaisunwin-vntyphu88vn138vwinvwinvi68ee881xbetrio66zbetvn138i9betvipfi88clubcf68onbet88ee88typhu88onbetonbetkhuyenmai12bet-moblie12betmoblietaimienphi247vi68clupcf68clupvipbeti9betqh88onb123onbefsoi cầunổ hũbắn cáđá gàđá gàgame bàicasinosoi cầuxóc đĩagame bàigiải mã giấc mơbầu cuaslot gamecasinonổ hủdàn đềBắn cácasinodàn đềnổ hũtài xỉuslot gamecasinobắn cáđá gàgame bàithể thaogame bàisoi cầukqsssoi cầucờ tướngbắn cágame bàixóc đĩaAG百家乐AG百家乐AG真人AG真人爱游戏华体会华体会im体育kok体育开云体育开云体育开云体育乐鱼体育乐鱼体育欧宝体育ob体育亚博体育亚博体育亚博体育亚博体育亚博体育亚博体育开云体育开云体育棋牌棋牌沙巴体育买球平台新葡京娱乐开云体育mu88qh88
Justin McShane

PA DUI attorney Justin J. McShane is the President/CEO of The McShane Firm, LLC - Pennsylvania's top criminal law and DUI law firm. He is the highest rated DUI attorney in PA as rated by Justin McShane is a double Board certified attorney. He is the first and so far the only Pennsylvania attorney to achieve American Bar Association recognized board certification in DUI defense from the National College for DUI Defense, Inc. He is also a Board Certified Criminal Trial Advocate by the National Board of Trial Advocacy, a Pennsylvania Supreme Court Approved Agency.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *