It is not unheard of for law enforcement to violate someone’s constitutional rights during a DUI case. The most common violations in these cases involve the Fourth, Fifth, and Sixth Amendments. When an individual’s constitutional rights are violated, the State’s case against them could become significantly weaker. This could lead to charges being reduced or even thrown out entirely.
If you believe that a police officer violated your constitutional rights during a DUI stop, do not delay in reaching out to a knowledgeable lawyer at Grand Canyon Law Group. Our legal team is well-versed in constitutional issues in Mesa DUI cases and can work with you to ensure that your rights are protected.
The Fourth Amendment of the United States Constitution protects individuals from unreasonable search and seizure. Fourth Amendment violations usually occur either when an officer pulls someone over or when they perform roadside testing.
Generally, a constitutional search has to start with a valid search or seizure of a motor vehicle, which has to be based on reasonable suspicion. Officers have to have a valid basis or a belief that the person committed a crime or at least a traffic infraction in order to stop a vehicle. Pulling someone over without reasonable suspicion is a Fourth Amendment violation.
Obtaining consent for testing also falls under the Fourth Amendment. Officers must ask an individual for consent before performing a DUI test. If an individual does not consent to testing, the officer must get a warrant. If Mesa law enforcement fails to get valid consent or a warrant but still carries out a breath or blood test, they violate an individual’s rights.
In some cases, a search will start out reasonable but later become a violation of one’s constitutional rights. If an officer has a basis to suspect that someone is driving under the influence, they can legally move forward with a search. However, if they find no evidence of impairment (bloodshot eyes, slurred speech, alcohol odor, etc.) and still proceed to arrest the person or do roadside testing, the search then becomes unreasonable and a rights violation.
Fifth and Sixth Amendment issues usually arise during the questioning phase of a DUI arrest. While the Fifth Amendment refers to the right to remain silent, the Sixth Amendment gives individuals the right to legal counsel. Those taken in for DUI processing are not legally required to answer any questions from the police, and they also must be given the opportunity to call an attorney. If law enforcement infringes on these rights, the accused individual could use this violation to bolster their defense.
Constitutional violations by law enforcement can be instrumental in the outcome of a Mesa DUI case. One of the most important parts of DUI representation is getting a good understanding and analysis of the constitutional issues that are at play, which is why it is critical to work with an attorney who has a deep understanding of these cases. For example, if a person exercises their right to have an attorney present, and officers do not respect that right, their entire case could end up being dismissed with the help of an experienced lawyer.
Additionally, if the officer stops someone without reasonable suspicion, all of the evidence after that stop could be thrown out. This can completely change the landscape of a DUI case and lead to significantly improved outcomes for the accused party.
A violation of your constitutional rights can change the course of your DUI case. When law enforcement makes mistakes, as they frequently do, the prosecutor’s office will defend the actions of the police. A defense attorney’s job is to scrutinize those actions and advocate for your constitutional rights. This is where the dedicated team at Grand Canyon Law Group comes in.
Our priority is defending your rights and way of life. If you are being accused of driving under the influence and were treated unfairly by law enforcement, reach out to our office immediately. We have experience dealing with constitutional issues in Mesa DUI cases and will fight tirelessly on your behalf to make things right.