Search and Seizure: The Details
The Fourth Amendment was put into place with good reason; it protects a citizen’s right to be free from unwarranted government intrusion. People have a right to privacy of certain places and items, including their person, home, and vehicles.
An officer cannot perform a search and seizure when he or she pulls you over without a warrant or reasonable cause. For example, if an officer pulled you over for an out of date tag, he or she will likely not be able to justify searching your vehicle. However, if you were swerving, if they see a beer can in your seat, or if they observe behavior indicative of intoxication, they have permissible reasoning to perform a search and seizure.
Some of the other situations in which officers may legally be able to search your vehicle include:
- they had information from a witness that justifies probable cause;
- they were placing you under arrest and searched your immediate surroundings; or
- you gave them permission to search.
Understanding How Permission Comes into Play
Essentially, if you give the officer permission – whether implied or express – to perform a search, any evidence they uncover is permissible in your case.
It’s also important to note that the officer is not required to tell you that you have the right to refuse a search. Therefore, it’s always good practice to never give your permission to search, as this satisfies the Fourth Amendment.
What Happens If an Officer Violates Your Rights
If officers unlawfully performed a search and seizure, any evidence they uncovered is not permissible in your DUI case. You’ll need to consult a DUI attorney in Fort Lauderdale and explain the details of your arrest. The attorney can then challenge the charges based on a violation of your rights.
Your attorney will be able to:
- collect evidence surrounding the arrest;
- build a case to demonstrate a violation of your rights; and
- work to get the evidence thrown out or the case dismissed.
Contacting Our Criminal Defense Attorneys in Fort Lauderdale
If your Fourth Amendment rights have been violated, contact a Fort Lauderdale DUI attorney at the Law Offices of Robert David Malove. We can look at your case to determine if there is a way to challenge your DUI charges, or get the penalties reduced. Call us today (954) 861-0384 for a free, no-obligation consultation.