If you were arrested for driving under the influence (DUI) in California, you might be wondering if the police followed the proper procedures and respected your rights. The answer is not always clear-cut. Depending on the circumstances of your case, the police may have violated the law when they arrested you for DUI. Please continue reading and reach out to a seasoned Tehama County DUI lawyer from Cohen Criminal Law to learn more about whether the police violated the law in the course of arresting you for DUI and how our legal team can fight your charges at every turn.
Five Ways the Police May Have Violated the Law During Your DUI Arrest
Believe it or not, there are various ways in which law enforcement will divert from the standard, lawful procedure in the course of arresting an individual for driving while under the influence of drugs or alcohol. Just some of those ways are as follows:
- The police stopped you without probable cause: Law enforcement must have a valid reason to pull anyone over, such as a traffic violation, a broken tail light, or erratic driving. If they stopped you based on a hunch or a tip, there’s a chance they have violated your Fourth Amendment right against unreasonable search and seizure.
- Law enforcement searched your vehicle without consent or a warrant: The police can only search your vehicle if they have your consent, a warrant, or probable cause to believe that there is evidence of a crime inside. If they searched your vehicle without any of these conditions, they may have violated your rights.
- The police administered a breathalyzer test without informing you of your rights: The police must inform you of your rights before administering a breathalyzer test, such as your right to refuse the test and the consequences of doing so. If they failed to do so, they may have violated your Fifth Amendment right against self-incrimination.
- Law enforcement coerced you into confessing or making incriminating statements: The police must respect your right to remain silent and to have an attorney present during any interrogation. If they pressured you, threatened you, lied to you, or promised you anything in exchange for a confession or a statement, they may have violated your Fifth Amendment right against self-incrimination and your Sixth Amendment right to counsel.
- The arresting officer(s) used excessive force or brutality against you: The police must use only reasonable and necessary force when arresting or detaining you. If they used excessive force or brutality against you, such as hitting you, kicking you, choking you, or tasing you without reason to do so, they may have violated your Eighth Amendment right against cruel and unusual punishment.
If any of these scenarios apply to your case, you may have grounds to challenge the legality of your arrest and the admissibility of any evidence obtained by the police, which could potentially result in the dismissal of your charges or the reduction of your penalties.
That said, you should never face a DUI charge on your own. It is always best to proceed with a competent attorney in your corner who can assess the circumstances of your case and, from there, devise a strong legal strategy on your behalf. Fortunately, if you’re reading this, you are in the right place. Contact Cohen Criminal Law for your initial consultation today.