Under the Fourth Amendment of the United States Constitution, you have the right to be free from unreasonable search and seizure. Police cannot simply just pat you down, search your vehicle, or enter your home without reasonable suspicion and/or probable cause despite what you may have seen in the movies or on TV and as you know, drunk driving gets exponentially worse during the summer and holidays, taking or ruining lives across cities and states in the US. With more DUIs, the higher the chance of unreasonable search and seizures. In certain states, in 2021, have it much worse than others. This report shows the states with the worst drunk driving problems.
If you believe you were searched without probable cause in Florida, contact us or call us at (561) 671-5995 to speak with our Palm Beach County DUI attorney to ensure your rights are protected regardless of if you are innocent or guilty of a crime.
Probable Cause in Florida
Most DUI charges in the state of Florida stem from a basic traffic stop. What many drivers do not realize is that even though the police may suspect you of driving under the influence, they must have reasonable suspicion in order to pull you over. If you find the police may be following you, but have not made an attempt to pull you over, they may be looking for a reason to do so. And yes, they can easily find one in most cases. Some of the most common traffic infractions in Florida include:
- Illegal tint
- Red light/stop sign violations
- Taillight(s) or tag light out
- Broken windshield
- Severely damaged vehicle
During an encounter with the police in Florida after being pulled over for a traffic stop, the officer will immediately make certain observations. They will look for signs of impairment such as the odor of alcohol, open containers in the vehicle, or slurred speech. If the officer sees any of these signs, they have the right to ask you to step out of the vehicle for further investigation.
Thus, for an officer to make this determination, they must believe that the circumstances and facts within their available knowledge would lead a reasonable person to believe two things:
- That a criminal offense has been committed;
- and that the potential arrestee committed the offense.
Can the Police Search My Car During a DUI Stop?
While a warrant is needed to search private property, this rule does not apply to the search of a vehicle after a lawful arrest. It also does not apply to items in plain view. Showing signs of impairment, or having an open container next to you is enough probable cause for the police to search your vehicle. Police are also freely allowed to search your vehicle if they have towed or impounded it. In Florida, any evidence which was illegally obtained will be thrown out in court and cannot be used against you. It is crucial to consult with an experienced Palm Beach DUI defense attorney as they may be able to prove that certain evidence was obtained illegally.
How a Palm Beach County DUI Lawyer Can Help
A Palm Beach DUI attorney can file a motion to suppress which can exclude evidence from trial that may have been unlawfully obtained. If your attorney believes your rights may have been violated during or after a traffic stop, they may be able to prove reasons for evidence to be thrown such as:
- Illegal search and seizure
- Violation of Miranda warning
- Improper DUI testing procedures
If you've been arrested for DUI in Palm Beach or Broward County, you should always question your rights and options. Call us immediately at (561) 671-5995 or click here to contact us.
The Law Offices of Matthew Konecky handles driving under the influence (DUI) cases in all of Palm Beach County, Palm Beach Gardens, West Palm Beach, Wellington, Boca Raton, Jupiter, Boynton Beach, Delray Beach, Loxahatchee, Royal Plam Beach, Riviera Beach, Lake Worth, Greenacres and all of Broward County.