February 08, 2013 /24-7PressRelease/
-- Supreme Court hears drunk-driving case
Article provided by Peter A D'Angelo, Attorney at Law, PLC
Visit us at http://www.dangelodefense.com
When a person is charged with driving under the influence, they may be afraid about what is going to happen next. Many of these people have never been in any kind of trouble with the law prior to this arrest, and they simply want to put the matter behind them as soon as possible. If the individual's blood alcohol test is above the legal limit, prosecutors may be aggressive in pursuing a conviction.
While it may seem like pleading guilty is the only option, those who are facing DUI charges need to know that they have rights available. It is important to review each arrest to ensure that police followed the proper procedures during and after the traffic stop. A recent U.S. Supreme Court case could have a major impact upon those charged with driving under the influence.
The case concerns an individual stopped by police after he was observed speeding early one morning. When the officer approached the man's vehicle, the man was slurring his speech and had bloodshot eyes. The officer asked the man to perform field sobriety tests, which the driver failed. The motorist was arrested for DUI, and was asked to consent to a breath test, which was refused.
The officer took the individual to a local hospital to obtain a blood sample. The man also refused this particular request, but the officer ordered hospital personnel to take the blood over the driver's objections. The police officer did not have a warrant for the blood draw, and despite obtaining one in multiple other cases, believed that a warrant was not necessary. The blood showed the man was over the limit, but lower courts excluded this evidence because of the lack of a warrant.
The prosecution had argued that a warrant was not necessary because the evidence needed to be quickly preserved. Because alcohol can be absorbed into the bloodstream, the state believed that any wait for a warrant to be approved could mean that the evidence of intoxication would disappear.
The Supreme Court will need to consider whether or not this practice is against the Fourth Amendment's protections against illegal searches and seizures. If it approves the process, this could mean that many more Michigan drivers will be facing DUI charges.
If you have been arrested for DUI, it is important to remember that police and prosecutors are not on your side. Do not give them any information that they may use as evidence to establish that you are impaired. Speak to an experienced criminal defense attorney to help protect your rights in these cases.
Each conviction will only increase the potential penalties that you may be facing. This could mean more jail time, higher fines and the loss of your driver's license. Do not simply plead guilty, because the consequences of a conviction can last much longer than you may expect.---
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