Are Police Allowed To Search My Car?

luxurycarimageIt is of the utmost importance that any citizen should know their rights. At times people can feel that the law and any similar circumstance too difficult to understand but that really is not the case. Can The Police Search My Car?

This is a very important question, and the answer to this question even more so. Exercising your rights is any citizens legal right, and it is necessary that you do so. If you know and understand your rights you are able to be informed if you ever face the situation of a police officer potentially searching your car. When it comes to a police officer searching yourself or your own property it is commonplace that you will need a warrant, which is a piece of paper which writes that they are allowed to search you and/or your property.
However, when dealing with a police officer wanting to search your car the law changes. The police will need to have a probably cause to search your car. A probably cause means that a police officer must have a reason to search your car, they simply cannot search your car with absolutely no reason to do so. A probably cause could be the plain sight of drugs in your car, or the smell of an illegal substance.

It is also worth understanding that if the police does have a warrant to search your car you should allow them to without any unnecessary actions on your part. Furthermore, if you are pulled over by the police and they use the common phrase for you to ‘exit the vehicle’ you are under no legal binding to do so. It is perfectly acceptable to stay seated in the car, however it may be best for you and the officer in question to step out of your own vehicle.
When being faced with a police encounter things can be tense and you may feel pressurized to act or do certain things, and this is why it extremely important that you remain calm and controlled. The police have to be sure that you are not concealing a weapon which is the reason they ask you to keep your hands on the wheel, and for this reason it is smart to listen to their orders. Never give an officer reason to arrest you, for example shouting, cursing and be unnecessarily rude. Be sure to remember that the police are attempting to do their job, and understanding your legal rights is crucial.

Criminal Law

Are Field Sobriety Tests Actually Fair?

policelightssDrunken driving has become a norm these days even though it leads to serious repercussions. People who are under the influence of alcohol are best advised to let the influence curb and only then drive, as drunken driving by all means is against the law. Not only this, it also poses danger to the driver and others around because of the mental and motor impairment caused by intoxication. Casualties because of drunken driving are on the rise. Therefore, in the best interest of everyone, it should be avoided at all costs.

Laws play an important role to keep a check on this. Field Sobriety Tests (FSTs) are one such example that might keep this practise in check. Going by the definition, the Field Sobriety Test is a three series test performed to check the Blood Alcohol Concentration (BAC) limit of the driver. If intoxication is suspected, the police officials are entitled to conduct a Field Sobriety Test. This involves certain simple and cognitive tests to check his sobriety. For example, the driver could be asked to stand on one leg, walk and so on. Things like these fall under the standardised field sobriety tests. There is another set of tests that fall under the FSTs which are called non-standardised tests. These include counting the number of fingers raised, counting backwards, reading tests etc.

Therefore, these tests are designed in such a manner that they check the sobriety of the driver to perfect accuracy. The horizontal gaze nystagmus test is also one of the most widely accepted forms of the field sobriety test. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has been efficient in devising these sobriety tests and a lot of credit should be given to them for the same.

It is worthwhile to note that some of the field sobriety tests may have scientific and neurological basis that becomes the basis of their accuracy and this precisely is the reason that the Field Sobriety Test is permissible in the court as evidence. However, the evaluation of most is done at a subjective level. This has also been the reason that the Field Sobriety Test has come under a lot of controversy time and again. The science behind it is put to question and so is the accuracy. But the fact that these are regarded as credible, leaves us with no veritable reason to doubt it.

Field sobriety test is measure taken by the police to legally advice people against drunken driving. It is advisable to be sober while driving lest you should end in jail.

Drunk Driving

Medical Marijuana and Driving

weed

Marijuana has been identified as one of the most common non-alcoholic drugs that are found in drivers. Even so, the contribution of this drug to motor accident has remained under scrutiny. A registered medical marijuana patient should expect to be treated just like any other patient using a prescription drug when driving.

Laws in different states prohibit people from taking to the wheel when their ability to operate the automobile is impaired either by alcohol or any other drug. Medical marijuana users can therefore expect a jail term arising from impaired driving although there is no clear-cut path to explain the term impairment.

Some prosecutors argue that the slightest trace of marijuana in a driver is a proof good enough to charge the victim with driving under the influence of drugs. Whether one has a card authorizing the use of medical marijuana or not, there is no defense. In real sense, drivers using the drug may have to make a difficult choice between the marijuana card and driver’s license. When both are used, there is a likelihood that they will be charged with a DUI.

Advocates of medical marijuana on the other hand argue that the presence of this drug in a driver’s blood should not be used as a ground to charge drivers who are entitled to use the drug. The fact that a driver’s blood has been found to contain cannabinol does not mean that an individual was under the influence of this drug at the time of an auto accident. Research has indicated that a victim can test positive for cannabinol a week after use.

There is an endless battle with regard to the rights of medical marijuana card holders in various state courts. Motorists have been continuously charged in municipal courts and as it stands now, there is a direct link between impaired driving and the use of medical marijuana.

Although these controversies may seem to disadvantages patients under the drug, research has indicated that any prescription drug increases the risk of getting involved in a motor crash. The accessibility and permissibility of marijuana for medical use has increased significantly in the U.S. It is therefore essential to understand the contribution of marijuana to car accidents.

Before you are charged with DUI, dive into the state laws in your region and ascertain what is spelt out as the penalty for using medical marijuana and driving under the influence. Unless this is done, you may find yourself in the dock with an attorney fighting the conviction against DUI.

Medical Marijuana

What Should You Do Following A DUI Arrest?

policelightDriving under the influence is considered a criminal offense. It is different from other traffic offenses, which are civil. If you are a charged with driving under the influence, it will appear as a criminal record. You may also be required to pay significant fines and serve a jail term or probation. A DUI arrest can be stressful and frightening, especially if it is your first experience. It is important to know what to do after a DUI to get rid of any uncertainty.  Many times, talking to a criminal defense attorney in Lansing will help put your mind to ease.

Seek Legal Advice

The first thing you should do after a DUI is to seek legal advice. You may not be aware of the DUI laws in your state. Hire a professional lawyer who specializes in driving under the influence offenses to guide you through the process. An experienced attorney will make it easy for you to handle the difficult situation.

Attend Court

Once you have been arrested for a DUI, the law enforcement officer will probably confiscate your driving license. You will be asked to report to court at a specific date for your hearing. It is essential to attend the court hearing to prevent additional legal problems. Most of the states require DUI offenders to attend a court hearing not more than 30 days after the arrest.

Abide by the Sentencing

A judge will sentence you during the court hearing and determine your punishment. There are various forms of punishment for DUI offenders that include restrictions on your driving license, jail, driving classes, fines, probation, or revocation of your license. It is essential to abide by the court’s ruling to help you stay out of trouble. The judge will make a decision based on the severity of your DUI offense.

Get Appropriate Insurance

Most insurance companies terminate a DUI offender’s auto insurance policy. If the court does not confiscate or revoke your drivers’ license, you have to make sure you have your insurance each time you drive. Some states require DUI offenders to show proof that they have adequate insurance. You will be required to have your insurance and an SR-22 form for at least three years after a DUI arrest.

You may lose your license for a specific period, but once the suspension is over, you can get a restricted or temporary license. The temporary license will make it possible for you to use your car to drive to work and attend alcohol programs. You will only get your license back after you demonstrate to the court that you have competence your punishment. The Department of Motor Vehicles in your state will determine if there are additional charges that you will be required to pay before you can get your license back.

Drunk Driving