Protect Yourself from Unreasonable Search and Seizure
By: Mike Stetzer
We are not always familiar with our rights that protect us from an unreasonable search and seizure, leading to a voluntary search that could bring about condemning evidence. It is important for you to understand when you have the right to refuse a search so that you protect yourself from evidence the police might not have otherwise obtained.
Our Constitution forbids law enforcement from performing unreasonable searches and seizures, meaning that any search or seizure must be based on probable cause.
What is Probable Cause?
If you have been arrested for drinking and driving, it is considered a seizure; however, the police officer must have probable cause before they can arrest you. Some ways probable cause is established include:
- Police officers using an objective and factual incident that make them suspect you are driving under the influence. i.e. You are swerving across lanes.
- If at the time of the arrest, the police officer used facts to establish probable cause, even if it turns out the police are wrong later. i.e. You were swerving across lanes because you were searching for your phone you dropped.
- Judges examining the evidence presented and taking into account
- How they interpret the meaning of probable cause in the Fourth Amendment
- How judges before them have interpreted the meaning in a case involving similar facts
- How the judge feels about police rights v. defendant's rights
There are a variety of circumstances that can lack probable cause during a DUI arrest. If you have been pulled over randomly or on an anonymous tip based on "suspicious" reasons, it may be that your rights were violated and you can challenge your DUI charge. Also, police officers are not allowed to pull you over based on your race, ethnicity or other protected categories. If your DUI lawyer can prove you were pulled over on that basis, you may challenge your DUI charge.
Have a DUI Lawyer Explain how the Search and Seizure Law Influences Your DUI Case
The search and seizure law is very intricate with many exceptions that apply to cases in different ways. A DUI lawyer could help you understand if your rights have been violated by an unreasonable search or seizure.
With the help of Total DUI, you can connect with an attorney practicing in your area today. Simply fill out our free DUI case evaluation or call 877-349-1311.