Law enforcement officers have to follow specific procedures when they are going about their duties. Some of these procedures have been established by the Constitution. The Fourth Amendment, for example, states that they must have probable cause or a search warrant if they want to complete a search of a person or a person’s property. If the police officers don’t follow proper procedures, and a person’s rights were violated, there is a chance that the charges against the person can be dropped.
No Probable Cause
Take, for example, a recent case involving a federal drug trafficking defendant, which highlights the importance of knowing your rights when you are facing criminal charges. In this case, the man was stopped by police officers for jaywalking. That was the basis of their probable cause. The officer claimed that, because the man was jaywalking and a felon, he had probable cause to search the man.
During the search, multiple bags of marijuana and a gun were found on the man. He was arrested and faced federal charges for the items that were seized during the search.
His case, however, was recently dismissed. The court found that there wasn’t probable cause for the search and seizure because the man’s actions that initiated the contact with police didn’t meet the jurisdictional standards for jaywalking. Since there wasn’t probable cause to search the man, it was established that the marijuana and gun were found illegally by the police.
That defendant was able to have his charges dismissed because his Fourth Amendment rights were violated. The prosecutors tried to establish probable cause by using secondary information, such as the man being in a high-crime area, but the court didn’t allow that to be considered probable cause.
In Relation to DUI
In the same manner, anyone who is arrested for drunk driving in Sacramento should make mental notes and then in writing as soon as possible of things that happened during the arrest. When you contact a criminal defense attorney, you can discuss the steps that were taken during the arrest. Important facts to note include the circumstances of a search, the actions that led to the initial stop, and anything the officers say during the arrest or search.
Contact a DUI attorney in Rancho Cordova, such as the lawyers of The Chastaine Law Office, to have your case evaluated to determine if any procedural errors might come into play for your defense. If there were procedural errors, such as a violation of the Fourth Amendment, you will have some new defense options to consider.