Know your rights when dealing with a DUI Charge. Bottari & Doyle Law Firm in Palm Beach County can assist you. Call 561-588-2781. The Fourth Amendment states, “The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no Warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by Oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized.” Police traffic stops are seizures. The seizure must be reasonable to comply with the Fourth Amendment. Therefore, a police officer who stops a vehicle must have certain evidence to make the seizure reasonable. The necessary evidence is either probable cause to believe that a traffic infraction has been committed, or a reasonable suspicion of an ongoing criminal activity. Speeding and running a red light are examples of traffic infractions. Anonymous tips of reckless driving may provide an officer with reasonable suspicion that the driver of a vehicle is under the influence of alcohol (an ongoing criminal activity). Navarette v. California, 572 U.S. (2014). Additionally, a police officer does not have to be absolutely certain that a driver has committed a traffic infraction or is committing a crime to make the traffic stop legal. Neither probable cause nor reasonable suspicion requires certainty. The U.S. Supreme Court stated in Illinois v. Gates, “In dealing with probable cause, as the very name implies, we deal with probabilities. These are not technical, they are the factual and practical considerations of everyday life on which reasonable and prudent men, not legal technicians, act. Probable cause is a fluid concept—turning on the assessment of probabilities in particular factual contexts—not readily, or even usefully, reduced to a neat set of legal rules.” A skilled criminal defense attorney will compare the facts of your case to other cases to determine if the traffic stop was legal. Any evidence obtained as a result of an illegal traffic stop would be inadmissible in court. This includes breath, blood and urine test results, field sobriety exercise performance, and the officer’s observations of the accused’s physical appearance.
The Fifth Amendment states in part, “No person shall be compelled in any criminal case to be a witness against himself.” The Fifth Amendment protects the accused from coerced self-incrimination. Self-incrimination is defined as, “Acts or declarations either at trial or prior to trial which one implicates himself in a crime.” A defendant does not have to testify at trial. The prosecutor cannot instruct the jury to infer guilt from the defendant’s refusal to testify. Additionally, law enforcement must read the defendant his or her Miranda rights prior to a custodial interrogation. The defendant must be warned, “He has a right to remain silent, that any statement he does make may be used as evidence against him, and that he has a right to the presence of an attorney, either retained or appointed. A custodial interrogation means, “Questioning initiated by law enforcement officers after a person has been taken into custody or otherwise deprived of his freedom of action in any significant way.” Miranda v. Arizona, 384 U.S. 436 (1966). The defendant may waive his or her Miranda rights through a voluntary, knowing an intelligent waiver. Statements obtained by law enforcement from a defendant due to a custodial interrogation, are inadmissible in court without a knowing, voluntary and intelligent waiver from the defendant.
The Sixth Amendment states in part, “In all criminal prosecutions, the accused shall enjoy the right to a speedy and public trial, by an impartial jury of the State and district wherein the crime shall have been committed. Florida Rule of Criminal Procedure 3.191 states, “Every person charged with a misdemeanor shall be brought to trial within 90 days of the arrest, unless the defendant waives his or her right to a speedy trial. However, the charges are not automatically dismissed on the 90th day. The defense must then provide notice to the court stating that 90 days have elapsed from the date of arrest. The court holds a hearing within 5 days of receiving the notice, and the case must be set for trial for within 10 days. This 15 day period is known as the “recapture” period. If the defendant is not brought to trial within 15 calendar days through no fault of his own, then the charges must be dismissed. Every defendant charged with a felony must be brought to trial within 175 days of arrest, unless he or she waives their speedy trial rights. The same approximately 15 day “recapture” period applies to felonies.
If you have been arrested or charged with a crime, please call the dedicated
Palm Beach DUI attorneys at Bottari & Doyle, P.A. at (561) 588-2781 for a free consultation.