Free Consultation
Criminal lawyer menu bar Milwaukee OWI attorney Menu Criminal lawyer menu bar 3
You are only Guilty if you are Convicted

2 Reasons Beyond Probable Cause that Get You Pulled Over for OWI

Return to Blog

And One Thing To Know About Fighting Your Charge

One of the most common questions our Milwaukee criminal defense attorneys hear during an initial client conference is whether it was legal for the police to stop their car. Our OWI lawyers know the answer is complex and is deeply rooted in Wisconsin case law. However, the answer is also found within the “fact pattern,” or what happened in each individual drunk driving stop.

The factors in your case that could impact your future forever.

Generally speaking there are three reasons for a DUI stop to be justified in court:

Probable Cause in Wisconsin OWI Drunk Driving1. Probable Cause for DUI Stop:

A probable cause stop takes place when the police, and perhaps later the courts, determine the officer had probable cause to perform a stop. Reasons behind the stop may include equipment violations (i.e. a burned out headlight), texting, seatbelt violations, too many people in the car, etc. Probable cause nearly always means the vehicle was stopped for a separate violation and the stop then turned into a drunk driving investigation.

2. Reasonable Suspicion:

Reasonable suspicion what most people think of when they think of a drunk driving stop. Was the car swerving? Did someone call 911 to report a drunk person driving home from a bar? Was the vehicle varying its speed? Did it accelerate quickly from a stop sign or pause for an unusual amount of time? These are all scenarios that play into whether the stopping officer had sufficient reasonable suspicion to make a stop for a possible DUI.

3. Community Caretaker:

The last and least common example of a drunk driving stop falls under the community caretaker doctrine. Common examples of the community caretaker doctrine include the police helping someone with a flat tire on the side of the road, an individual in need of immediate medical attention, etc. The stop (and possible intrusion upon the citizen’s rights) is justified in those circumstances because the police are performing their duties as community caretakers

Occasionally, the community caretaker doctrine finds its way into Wisconsin DUI cases. The police may observe a vehicle suddenly pull to the side of the road and there is a question if the motorist is in distress. Perhaps there is a car circling around a subdivision, appearing lost. The scenarios are nearly endless, but they are also rare in the court system.

You Are Only Guilty If You Are Convicted

Milwaukee OWI Attorneys Know the Specifics of Your Case Play a Critical Role in Defense

DWI stops and probable causeOur Milwaukee DUI attorneys value the fact that no two arrests and stops are the same. This means a fresh, intensive and highly analytical DUI defense process must be undertaken on each and every drunk driving case.

Our lawyers will not be able to fully assess the situation until we receive a complete copy of all police reports and any additional evidentiary, such as police dashboard camera videos, recorded interviews, etc. Once our Milwaukee DUI lawyers have a complete picture of what happened and what the police would say about the stop if questioned in court, we can advise you on your options.

The DUI Lawyers Milwaukee Trusts for Experienced Legal Advice When Charged with a DUI in Wisconsin

No matter why your car was stopped, there must be sufficient legal cause for the stop. Only an experienced lawyer versed in Wisconsin DUI charges and police procedures will know what to look for. If you or a loved one has been charged with a DUI in Wisconsin, turn to the Milwaukee DUI lawyers with a proven record of getting Wisconsin drunk driving charges dropped or reduced. Trust Grieve Law LLC. to put the law on your side and protect your rights.


2nd Offense OWI


Contact our Milwaukee drunk driving attorneys for a FREE legal consultation.

Return to Blog

By: Attorney Tom Grieve on 03/06/2020

Tom Grieve is a former prosecutor who now runs a successful Wisconsin criminal defense law firm with offices in Milwaukee, Waukesha and Madison. If are facing new charges initial phone consultations are free: contact online or call 262-786-7100.

Make Secure Invoice Payments Online With Make a Payment