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DUI » DUI Testing » Challenging DUI Evidence » Search/Seizure Violations and DUI

Search / Seizure Violations

The Fourth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution protects the right of the people from unreasonable searches and seizures. By limiting the ability of law enforcement to conduct searches or make arrests without probable cause, the Fourth Amendment helps avoid situations where the police search a person or make an arrest without any real reason to do so. Search and seizure violations apply to DUI charges just as to any other type of criminal offense.

Let's look at a scenario where a driver's rights are actually violated:

Bob is driving home from a local bar at closing time, when he suddenly sees flashing lights in his rearview mirror. He quickly pulls over to the side of the road and provides his license and registration to the police officer upon request. The officer asks Bob to step out of the vehicle and proceeds to search the trunk, glove box and rest of the vehicle for drugs, open alcohol containers, weapons or other incriminating evidence. The officer does this without Bob's consent and does not even establish that Bob may have been drinking or may have a dangerous weapon in the vehicle. This may be considered an unreasonable search. If Bob is arrested, it may be unlawful as well.

Protecting Your Fourth Amendment Rights

By law, any evidence or information obtained as the result of an illegal search or seizure cannot be used as direct evidence against a defendant in a criminal case. Based on this, drugs or weapons taken from your vehicle may be considered inadmissible as evidence. The outcome of a breath test or blood test may also be thrown from your case. Any weakening in the prosecution's case against you may mean that you are able to secure a dismissal or avoid a conviction. Our thorough investigation and aggressive defense of your constitutional rights will make the most of any search and seizure violation we discover.

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