Probable Cause Affidavits in DWI Cases

Probable Cause Affidavits in DWI Cases

Charlie explains the role and significance of a probable cause affidavit in DWI cases.


Q: What is a Probable Cause Affidavit in DWI Cases?

A: A Probable Cause (PC) Affidavit is a document written by the arresting officer summarizing the evidence against an individual in a DWI case.

Q: Why is the PC Affidavit Required?

A: It is required by the 4th Amendment to ensure arrests are made based on probable cause.

Q: Who Reviews the PC Affidavit and What Do They Decide?

A: A magistrate judge reviews the PC Affidavit to confirm there is enough evidence for an arrest and decides on bond conditions and amounts.

Q: What Does a Probable Cause Affidavit Look Like?

A: It is typically a two or three-page document detailing the evidence, including reasons for the stop, field sobriety test results, and breathalyzer results.

Q: Is the PC Affidavit Public Record?

A: Yes, it becomes available online a few days after an arrest, but attorneys can access it sooner.

Q: Do Clients Often Feel the PC Affidavit Exaggerates Facts?

A: Yes, clients often feel this way as officers tend to justify the arrest in the affidavit.

Q: Do Prosecutors Rely on the PC Affidavit?

A: No, prosecutors usually base their opinions on the more detailed offense report, arrest videos, and any breath or blood test results.

Q: What is the Usefulness of the PC Affidavit for Defense Attorneys?

A: It helps defense attorneys get an early preview of the worst facts of the case, aiding in advising their clients on the likely path of the case.

Q: Does the PC Affidavit Include the Reason for the Stop in a DWI Case?

A: Yes, it includes the reason for the stop, such as a collision or traffic violation, which is crucial in DWI cases.

Q: Is the PC Affidavit a Key Tool for Prosecutors?

A: No, it is mainly a useful tool for defense attorneys and is not typically revisited by prosecutors.