Search and Seizure
Was the DWI Stop and Investigation lawful?
Were you arrested in Texas for drunk driving under the pretext of a routine traffic stop? Did you, or do you, suspect that you may have been the target of unlawful police procedures? The Houston criminal lawyers at the firm encourage Texans to be aware of their rights to protection from unlawful police procedures. At the time of your DWI /DUI arrest, did the law enforcement officer violate your Fourth Amendment rights? To schedule a free consultation with an experienced DWI/DUI (drunk driving) lawyer, contact Chernoff Law to discuss the relevance of search and seizure laws to your case.
Unlawful Police Stops
Protecting Your Rights
When you are pulled over on suspicion of DWI, the requirements of the U.S. and Texas Constitutions for search and seizure comes into play. A police officer must have reasonable suspicion to believe you are committing some type of crime. An officer can pull you over for:
- Driving too slowly
- Ignoring traffic laws or traffic signs
- Driving without headlights on after dark
- Violating a traffic law
If you believe you have been stopped or arrested unlawfully, your best option is to contact a Houston DWI attorney immediately to begin mounting a solid defense.
If you were not driving in any of the manners mentioned above, you may be able to contest your DWI charge in court. Police officers will often target certain areas where many bars and restaurants are located in the early morning and “cherry-pick” or randomly select drivers to pull over on the chance that they might have been drinking. If the officer is unable to prove that they had a just cause, the charges must be dropped and the case may be dismissed.
Officers may claim that they pulled a driver who was driving too slowly or weaving out of their lane. In some cases, an officer may even try to argue that driver was “weaving” within their own lane and that is a sign of intoxication.
How to Fight Your DWI
Every citizen has rights. If you are facing DWI charges and believe you were the victim of an unlawful police stop, you will need the representation of knowledgeable and experienced DWI defense lawyers. At Chernoff Law, we will work diligently to get to the bottom of why you were pulled over. If you were unlawfully stopped, we will make sure this is brought to light in court. When you choose our firm, you can be sure you will receive exceptional legal advice and aggressive representation. Let us provide you with first-rate legal assistance now.
Your Fourth Amendment Rights and DWI/DUI
The Fourth Amendment of the United States Constitution was established in order to protect citizens from unreasonable search and seizure. This Amendment limits the power of the police to make arrests, search people and private property, and seize any tangible items including evidence of criminal activity (such as driving with an open alcohol container).
Did you give up your rights voluntarily?
Search and seizure laws have traditionally held that if a person voluntarily gives up his or her right to protections from search and seizure, then the police have the right to search. During our free initial consultation, we will examine whether you did so at the time you were stopped.
Public Interest vs. Your Right to Privacy
Granted, there is a clear public interest in preventing drunk driving that may endanger other motorists and pedestrians. In this context, it would seem that the goal of search and seizure laws are to protect your privacy while at the same time, allow officers to reasonably pursue criminal justice and protect the public from danger if they suspect you are driving while intoxicated.
Was There Probable Cause for Your Traffic Stop?
In some cases, when there is probable cause, an officer can conduct a search without a search warrant when he has reason to believe that a search is necessary to protect the public from imminent danger. Furthermore, cars can be searched without a warrant in certain cases.
Part of our job is to meticulously examine every detail and fact related to our clients arrest for driving under the influence of alcohol. This includes analyzing the facts to determine whether our clients rights to privacy and protection from unreasonable search and seizure were violated. One of the most important questions is: Did the officer have probable cause to stop you and conduct a roadside DWI/DUI investigation? Let’s talk about your arrest in connection with search and seizure laws. Contact Chernoff Law today!