Just like we have to follow state and local laws, law enforcement officers must also act in line with the law. To make sure that police officers do not act unlawfully and violate the rights of potential suspects, they must follow certain procedures regarding traffic stops and arrests. This is no different in DUI cases–if officers violate procedures and go against your constitutional rights, any evidence stemming from your arrest may be inadmissible in court. This often means that any subsequent DUI charges will be dismissed. An experienced DUI defense attorney will know how to identify any missteps by police and will know how to use these to your advantage in your DUI case.
Reasonable suspicion and probable cause — The 4th Amendment of the United States Constitution gives you the right to be free from unreasonable seizure, which means that police cannot simply detain you whenever they feel like it. Instead, police must have reasonable suspicion that you are committing or have committed an illegal act in order to pull you over while driving. If there was no reasonable suspicion for your traffic stop, an attorney can likely have your charges dismissed. Additionally, without an arrest warrant, police must have probable cause that you have committed a crime to place you under arrest. If there is not enough evidence of impairment for an officer to have probable cause that you were driving drunk, placing you under arrest for DUI would be unlawful.
Searches — The 4th Amendment also gives you the right to be free from unreasonable searches. This means that an officer cannot search your vehicle whenever he likes. The following are instances in which an officer may search you or your car:
- There is a valid search warrant;
- You consent to the search;
- The officer places you under arrest and checks for weapons or dangerous items; or
- The officer places you under arrest and checks the main compartment of your car for any evidence related to your DUI.
Miranda rights — If an officer places you in custody and wishes to interrogate you, he must inform you of your rights to remain silent and to have an attorney, among other things. If an officer interrogates you in a custodial situation without reading you your Miranda rights, any answers to his questions may be inadmissible in a subsequent DUI case.
Contact an experienced Denver DUI defense lawyer for assistance
If you have been arrested on suspicion of DUI, you should not delay in contacting a qualified DUI defense attorney who has experience handling cases in Denver. An attorney can represent you not only in court hearings, but also in your communications with law enforcement officers to make sure you do not unintentionally say something incriminating. The help of a skilled lawyer is imperative from the time of your arrest until your case is over to make sure your rights are protected and that you obtain the best results possible. Call attorney Jay Tiftickjian at the Tiftickjian Law Firm in Denver at 303-DUI-5280 for help today.
Photo Credit: West Midlands Police Department