Constitutional Issues in Howard County DUI Cases
The primary constitutional issues that can come up in Howard DUI cases are whether the police had a valid basis for the traffic stop or interaction and whether the officer had sufficient probable cause after completion of field sobriety tests to determine if a person was under the influence. If the answer is they were not and the officer arrests somebody anyway, it is an illegal arrest and nothing that happens afterward is admissible, even if someone were to the station and blow over .08 reading. That reading would be excluded as the person’s constitutional rights are violated and they were illegally arrested. To learn more about constitutional issues, contact a skilled DUI attorney.
What Protections Are Granted by Fourth Amendment?
The Fourth Amendment protects individuals from unreasonable search and seizures. It protects people from illegal stops and from being arrested if there is insufficient cause that a person was under the influence or impaired at that time. There are also other protections that arise regarding whether or not they have to give certain statements. They can refuse a breath test and they can refuse a blood test if they wanted. There are other consequences that can arise if they do so, but there are certain protections all along the way.
Search and Seizure and DUIs
With searches, officers could be searching a person’s pockets, belongings, the vehicle, a backpack, or the trunk of their car. It could be anywhere, anytime. The officer is looking somewhere, so that is a search. A seizure can be taking property or a person. A seizure of property is about taking property and holding it for evidence or other purposes. Seizure of a person is when a person is detained or arrested.
An officer has to have sufficient legal basis to search, whether it is a search incident to an arrest or a prompt call search. The officers must have a basis to search and a subsequent reason that justifies their intrusion of the person. If they do not have a basis of the search, it becomes an illegal search.
What Officers Need for a Constitutional Search
Assuming that the officers do not have a warrant signed by a judge, there are exceptions to warrant requirement for an officer to search. For example, if someone has been arrested, there could be a search incident to arrest. If an officer sees contraband in plain view, like marijuana in the console, they can search the entire vehicle for marijuana. There also can be consent – the individual can consent to an officer searching of a vehicle. Constitutional issues in Howard County DUI cases take a variety of forms.
Other Illegal Issues in DUI Cases
Other constitutional issues in Howard County DUI cases include whether the officer could stop the vehicle. Once stopped, they can get the person out of the vehicle and ask them to perform to the tests. Another issue is whether they have sufficient basis to arrest somebody. Those are the primary constitutional hurdles that the police have to overcome and address.
If there has been a violation of someone’s constitutional rights, it is a basic challenge of the admissibility of evidence. If a judge determines that police overreached or there was an invasion, then the evidence, whether it is a breath test or performance on tests, is admissible and will mean the person is found not guilty. The courts interpret the law and decide whether or not actions are constitutional.
Howard County Treatment of Constitution
Howard County holds the police to stand a higher standard. They must abide by the requirements and burdens of the law. If they overreach, the judge will not admit evidence not legally obtained. To learn more about constitutional issues in Howard County DUI cases, contact a qualified lawyer today.