The police often respond to situations where the accused has arrived home and is inside the house believed to have driven while under the influnce, The question becomes whether the suspect is lawfully arrested if the officers enter the home without a search warrant, here is one such recent Torrance case where the client is facing charges of DWI and the defense attorney intends to challenge the legality of the contact:
The facts are pretty amazing: The accused drives home, almost hits several vehicles but does not collide anything. No scratches or anything to the car. She is followed home by a civilian witness. Client parks her car sideways on her driveway, goes into her house. Torrance police are called. Officers say the front door of the house was open so they went inside. Asleep downstairs was client’s daughter, who was awoken by the announcement of ” POLICE!” They ask who was driving the car, the daughter looks and says it’s her mom’s car. They ask where the mom is, she says upstairs. They go upstairs, finds the defendant, aka mom in bed, pulls her out. They have the civilian witnesses go inside my client’s house to ID my client because the client couldn’t walk to the doorway and is displaying obvious signs of intoxication.
All of this is presumably illegal since there is no search warrant for the house, no one gave permission to enter. The end result was the defendant’s BAC is nearly 4 times the legal limit in California. Many lawyers would be optimistic about the facts of this case but would be cautious based on many Judge’s implied bias that the accused is a drunk and should get a DUI. Is the arrest for DUI tacitly illegal? No search warrant for the house was obtained, no one gave permission to enter. The end result was the client’s BAC is well above the legal limit. A motion to contest the arrest is to follow, what is the likely result, you be the Judge.
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