If someone has been charged with a DUI due to some sort of constitutional violation such as an illegal stop or search, an experienced Midland DUI lawyer may use that as a defense to have the charge lessened or potentially thrown out. Speak with a qualified attorney today to learn more about constitutional issues in Midland DUI cases.
Common Constitutional Issues
The most common constitutional issues in Midland DUI cases that come up is whether or not there was a valid stop. Another issue that may be examined is the Fourth Amendment right to be free from unreasonable searches and seizures. There could also be a Fifth Amendment right violation where the person had the right to remain silent, but law enforcement did not adhere to the person’s constitutional right to remain silent.
Protections Granted by the Fourth Amendment
The Fourth Amendment says that the government should not have any unreasonable searches or seizures. This means that there has to be a legal reason for the officer to stop someone. An officer cannot drive around and search someone unless they have probable cause. A violation of this right could impact a DUI case and make it harder for the prosecution to get a positive result.
Defining Search and Seizure & Warrantless Search
A search is a legal right to actually look for something, whether it is in a house or in a car. A person can get that legal right by either a search warrant being signed or some certain exceptions to the Fourth Amendment, such as plain view or search incident to arrest.
There are multiple factors that may determine the legality of the search, whether it was voluntary, and whether there were any plain view documents. An illegal search and seizure is part of the most common constitutional issues in Midland DUI cases.
A warrantless search occurs when a person does not have a search warrant and still conducts the search. There are some provisions in the law that allow that, but they must have to have a reason, probable cause or a reasonable suspicion, to actually open the door or conduct the actual search. Often times that is fact-based.
Impact on a DUI Case & Interpretation of the Constitution
Constitutional issues in Midland DUI cases may delay the length of time of a trial to make a decision. This due in part to the fact that everyone must reevaluate all the parameters of the case. There have been some cases in the past that have taken months due to an illegal collection of evidence or some sort of illegal search and seizure.
The court must follow the law of Texas. The law of a DUI is going to be the same in Midland, for example, as it is going to be in Lubbock or Amarillo or any place else so they will just have to follow the law. Speak with an attorney to get a better interpretation of the constitution or how it may affect a court’s view of a specific case.