Constitutional Issues in Brunswick County DUI Cases
Constitutional issues in Brunswick County DUI cases usually involve the violation of the Fourth, Fifth, and Sixth Amendment of the U.S. Constitution. If a defendant’s constitutional rights have been violated in a criminal case, certain evidence could be thrown out, or the case could be dismissed altogether.
Read below to learn more about constitutional violations in Brunswick County DUI cases. And if you are facing charges, get in touch with a seasoned DUI lawyer today.
Fourth Amendment Rights
The most common constitutional issues in a Brunswick County DUI case involves the Fourth Amendment. The Fourth Amendment protects people from unreasonable searches and seizures.
Law enforcement can only stop an individual’s vehicle or seize them long enough to do an investigation if they have reasonable suspicion of criminal activity. They can only arrest them if they have probable cause of a criminal offense. Further, they can only search either their person or their vehicle if they have probable cause. All those issues can arise frequently in the DUI context.
The Fourth Amendment means that an individual never has to consent to a search of their vehicle. If law enforcement asks them if it is okay to search their vehicle, they have every right to say no to them, and if they say they are going to have to get a search warrant, they have every right to encourage them to do so without consenting to a search of their person or their vehicle.
The Fourth Amendment also protects people against being stopped without a valid reason. Law enforcement must have something objective that they can point to that gives them a reason to stop them and investigate.
Fifth and Sixth Amendment Rights
The Fifth Amendment gives people the right to not incriminate themselves. When a person is being questioned by an officer, they can remain silent and refuse to answer questions. The Sixth Amendment gives individuals the right to an attorney. If someone is getting arrested or being investigated for an offense, they should remain silent and get in touch with a defense attorney.
Impact of Constitutional Violations Impact a DUI Case
If a person’s constitutional rights have been violated during a DUI investigation, that could lead to the dismissal of a case. It could lead, at a minimum, to suppression of certain evidence, meaning that it cannot be introduced into a trial because it was obtained in violation of the Constitution. Often, if any evidence is excluded from a trial, that impairs the prosecution’s case and they are not able to go forward.
How Does Brunswick County Treat Constitutional Issues?
Brunswick County is always going to treat constitutional issues seriously. Prosecutors are going to want to stand up for law enforcement officers and assert that they did their job correctly, and judges are going to want to make sure that nobody is punished unless their constitutional rights were honored.
A seasoned lawyer is going to want to make sure that a defendant’s constitutional rights are protected at every stage from arrest all the way through trial. Call today to learn more about constitutional issues in Brunswick County DUI cases and how an attorney could help.