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probable cause Tag

Can Police Search Your Car for Drugs Without Your Permission?

Can Police Search Your Car for Drugs Without Your Permission?

When the police pull you over on the roadside, sometimes they can search your car for drugs without your permission. Vehicle searches are legal under some circumstances if you are being arrested. Also, the police can do a search if they have probable cause to believe that a crime is being committed. Finally, they can seize any item in plain view. Search Incident to Arrest When you are being arrested for driving under the influence of drugs, DUI, or another crime on the roadside, the police can search your car if: They reasonably believe evidence of the crime you committed can be...

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Other Charges that Accused DUI Drivers Often Face

Other Charges that Accused DUI Drivers Often Face

After you get charged with driving under the influence, you may learn that you face additional unexpected charges. Often, the first time you learn of the charges against you is when you talk to the judge. The entire process can be overwhelming and scary, especially if this is your first DUI charge. Learn a little about the additional charges so you can prepare for what is ahead. Many drivers who are pulled over and arrested for suspected driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs are also charged with: Aggravated drunk driving Driving with a revoked or suspended driver’s license Driving...

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What It Means to Be Arrested on Suspicion of a Crime

What It Means to Be Arrested on Suspicion of a Crime

In Oklahoma, police may arrest someone on suspicion of committing a crime. Arrested on suspicion is different than reasonable suspicion. Reasonable suspicion and probable cause are standards of proof that police must establish before taking certain actions. Arrested on Suspicion Police often use the term “arrested on suspicion” of committing a crime when they have probable cause to arrest someone for doing something criminal. This does not mean the police have proven that the person committed the crime. Nor can police arrest you just for doing something suspicious. When you get arrested, they have to think you violated the law. People may get...

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Defenses to Oklahoma Criminal Drug Charges

Defenses to Oklahoma Criminal Drug Charges

When you hire a criminal defense attorney because you were charged with a drug crime, your attorney will develop any defenses you have. Defenses are reasons why you did not commit a crime, why you cannot be convicted of a crime, or why evidence against you should be thrown out of court. For drug crimes specifically, there are a number of different defenses that may apply depending on the facts of your case. Elements of the Crime Not Proved Attorneys often argue either that the prosecution did not prove all the elements of the crime. The elements of the crime are the...

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How Police Obtain a Warrant to Search for Drugs

How Police Obtain a Warrant to Search for Drugs

Before police can search for drugs, they need to obtain a warrant from the court unless a few exceptions apply. The search warrant is a legal document explaining where the police can search for evidence of a crime. Once law enforcement has a warrant, they do not need your consent to search the specified area. Police officers must get search warrants from judges or magistrate judges. The judge issuing a warrant must be “neutral and detached” and “capable of determining whether probable cause exists”. Coolidge v. New Hampshire, 403 U.S. 443 (1971). This requirement helps ensure that there is no conflict...

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Passengers’ Rights at Traffic Stops

Passengers’ Rights at Traffic Stops

Passengers in a car pulled over at a traffic stop are in a sticky position. They are not operating the vehicle, so they cannot be arrested for DUI or cited for traffic infractions. When law enforcement pulls a car over, passengers may not know what to do. Can the police order a passenger to stay in the car or get out of the car? Yes, courts have concluded that police can either order passengers to stay in or get out of the car during a traffic stop. Reasoning centers on concern for police officers’ safety and need to exercise control over everyone...

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How Cops Find Drugs During Traffic Stops

How Cops Find Drugs During Traffic Stops

A person pulled over for suspected DUI or another driving offense may find himself in more trouble if police search the vehicle. If law enforcement finds evidence of another crime, such as illegal drugs, in the vehicle, they can charge you with that crime too. A simple traffic infraction could escalate to much more serious criminal charges. Usually, police need a warrant to search cars. During traffic stops, however, they can search vehicles without a warrant for several reasons. First, police may search a vehicle incident to a driver’s arrest. Often this type of search is legally permitted because police reasonably...

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Use of Police Dogs at Traffic Stops

Use of Police Dogs at Traffic Stops

During traffic stops, police sometimes use K-9 dogs to sniff for drugs or other illegal substances. Two key Supreme Court cases have evaluated how far police may go in their use of dogs at roadside stops. In the first case, Illinois v. Caballes, 543 U.S. 405 (2005), the court considered whether using a drug dog at the scene of a roadside stop was an unreasonable search. The drug dog alerted at the scene, leading to the defendant’s arrest for marijuana trafficking. While the Illinois Supreme Court said that the search was unreasonable, the Supreme Court disagreed, determining that police did not...

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Should I Resist an Illegal Traffic Stop?

Should I Resist an Illegal Traffic Stop?

If you have ever been pulled over by a police officer, you may have wondered whether you should resist a truly illegal traffic stop. An Oklahoma appeals court found that drivers must submit to even obviously bogus stops by the police. In State v. Nelson, 2015 OK CR 10 (2015), the driver made a left-hand turn into a parking lot. The road was deserted and there were no cars in sight, except the police officer’s hidden patrol car. The officer pulled over the driver for failure to signal. He tried to write the driver a ticket, and the driver started walking...

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Legality of the Car Search in Oklahoma

Legality of the Car Search in Oklahoma

During DUI arrests in Oklahoma, police may be able to legally search the driver’s automobile. But wait – you may say – doesn’t the Fourth Amendment protect people against unreasonable searches and seizures of their property? Yes, and so does Article 2, Section 30 of the Oklahoma Constitution. However, several exceptions apply during traffic stops that could allow police to search your car. Police usually must have a search warrant to conduct an automobile search. If there was no warrant, the courts assume that the search was unreasonable, and the government must demonstrate that the search was reasonable. Otherwise, evidence from...

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