Constitutional Issues in Virginia Beach DUI Cases
Usually, the most common constitutional issue in DUI cases in Virginia Beach are Fourth Amendment issues. These types of issues deal with probable cause for search and seizure which comes into play when analyzing the reason for the stop. Whether there is enough probable cause for the officer to make an arrest for the DUI also comes into play. It is crucial to look at it because if there is anything wrong with the stop and it is deemed to be invalid, that is enough to get the case thrown out.
A Virginia Beach DUI lawyer would not necessarily have to go into the analysis of the remainder of the DUI because if the stop is invalid, then everything else get thrown away along with it and the case should be dismissed.
Fourth Amendment DUI Issues in Virginia Beach
For DUI cases in Virginia Beach, the Fourth Amendment generally protect drivers from unlawful search and seizures. In this context, it would mean that an officer needs to have a valid reason to stop a driver and then also a valid reason to arrest the driver for a DUI.
An officer cannot just arbitrarily pull over a vehicle without reasonable articulable suspicion that a crime has been committed or is being committed and they cannot arrest someone for a DUI without probable cause to believe that that driver has been driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs.
What is an Unreasonable Search
An unreasonable search happens when a police officer does not have enough probable cause for a warrantless search or enough reasonable articulable suspicion that a crime has taken place in order to make a traffic stop (in the context of a DUI case.)
What Makes a Police Search Unconstitutional
Fifth Amendment issues are the other constitutional issues that come up in DUI cases. These kinds of constitutional issues are related to the Miranda rights and whether the defendant is interrogated after their arrest and before being Mirandized. The Miranda rights are something that defendants always ask about. They say, “My rights were not read to me so does that mean that the whole stop is not legal?”
But it only becomes an issue if the defendant is questioned after he is arrested because at that point, it becomes relevant whether they incriminate themselves and if they do, this kind of admission is not admissible unless the defendant was aware of the rights before they made that statement.
How Virginia Beach Treats Constitutional Issues
Virginia Beach is very serious about these constitutional issues. This is one of the main things that comes up in DUI cases in Virginia Beach. It is related to the constitutional issues because generally, this is where the biggest fight happens at trial, and it is a much harder battle to fight when you are trying to go against a really accurate breathalyzer test. A lot of times, this is the main thing that’s looked at to see if the case will be reduced or dismissed.
Whether the stop is valid is the first thing that probably every attorney will look for in a case because if you have a winning case there, then it is much easier to get to court to agree to dismiss the whole thing.
The courts follow the US Supreme Court interpretation of the constitution. If there is any type of issue that the US Supreme Court hasn’t already addressed, then the next up is the Supreme Court of Virginia.