Constitutional Issues in Dedham OUI Cases

Constitutional issues in Dedham OUI cases often include search issues from the Fourth Amendment. Issues could cover laws with respect to search and seizure, typically when police search the defendant and the defendant’s vehicle. The protections for Miranda rights could also be implicated. 

The person has a right to remain silent if they are in custody and being interrogated. Distinguished OUI attorneys can help you navigate your interactions with law enforcement. 

Common Constitutional Issues in Dedham OUI Cases

Fifth Amendment rights against self-incrimination can also arise in OUI cases. A person has certain rights that are provided when the individual in custody and prior to being interrogated. In Massachusetts law, typically courts have held that roadside questions do not require the officers to provide Miranda warnings. 

The person's rights are not implicated at that point. When a police officer stops somebody under suspicion of OUI, however, there are times that those rights could become implicated. If officers are looking for evidence against the defendant, they will likely be asking investigatory questions.

What is the Impact a Constitutional Issue on an OUI Case

Constitutional issues in Dedham OUI cases impact how an attorneymightabout defending the case. If an attorney notices violations of certain constitutional rights, that allows the attorney to file and argue motions to suppress evidence. Suppressed evidence may include statements made to the police officer or any alcohol found in the car that might have been seized by the police officer. That evidence might be inadmissible at trial because it was a violation of the driver’s rights.

Fourth Amendment Protections

The Fourth Amendment is a person’s right to be secure on their person, vehicle or home. Without a search warrant, police cannot search those areas that are implicated in the Fourth Amendment. There are exceptions, and one commonly used in OUI cases is the inventory search of the person's vehicle. If a person’s Fourth Amendment rights have been violated, or if a person or vehicle has been searched without a warrant..

What Does Search and Seizure Mean?

Legally, search refers to searching either the person or the vehicle or property; seizure is the actual stop of the person. Any search without a warrant, or not predicated on probable cause, is per se unreasonable. The Commonwealth has the burden to show that there is an exception to the warrant requirement anytime there is a search.

What is a Warrantless Search?

A warrantless search is any search in which the police officers do not have a warrant. Again, these are per se unreasonable. However, there are some exceptions to that presumption. It is the Commonwealth’s burden to show that an exception to that requirement exists at the time of the search.

Requirements for Proving Constitutional Searches

The officer would need to show a warrant or would need to show that their search was an exception to the warrant requirement. That can be shown by a valid inventory search.

The officer would have to show that they are taking the car, that it is being placed in custody, and that they have a valid inventory policy in place that would allow them to search the vehicle. 

They may do this to make sure to protect themselves against claims by the owner of the vehicle that valuables were taken and to make sure that there is nothing hazardous or dangerous in the vehicle. 

Treatment of Constitutional Errors in Operating Under the Influence Cases

The Supreme Court has made a lot of rulings interpreting the United States Constitution, which would implicate the constitutional rights. However, there is also a Massachusetts constitution. There are some variations among those rights, so the interpretations made by the US Supreme court also require interpretations by the Massachusetts Supreme Court, and they are typically the last say on those types of rulings with respect to constitutional rights.

Motions to suppress made for the violation of constitutional rights are routinely held at Dedham District Court. Attorneys who have a strong argument can present their case before the judge. They can cross-examine the officers and make an argument for why their client’s constitutional rights were violated in Dedham District Court if there is a strong enough case for evidence to be suppressed.

Client Reviews
Michael was very professional and explained the process clearly and told us to be patient. After one year the charges got dismissed in the trial. Excellent knowledge of the court systems in the area of Boston. Would highly recommend him
A careless decision on my part left me facing charges which would have severely hampered my ability to stay employed and support myself. But attorney DelSignore's skillful analysis and challenging of the evidence against me resulted in a conviction on a lesser charge. Now I'll be able to go on with my life, having learned a lesson I'll never forget. Thank you, Michael. Scott
Mike stuck with my case for 3.5 years and always kept me informed regarding the status. Ultimately, because of his due diligence, we ended up with an OUI not guilty verdict. This case could have gone many ways but his thorough review of the case and exceptional preparedness for trial ultimately drove a positive outcome. Thank you Mike! David
Michael DelSignore did an amazing job with my case! Either him or his partner Julie was always available to answer any questions I had and helped walked me through the entire process. I could not have done it without them! I highly recommend choosing this law firm to deal with your legal needs, you will not be dissatisfied. Ashley
I cannot express the gratitude towards both Michael and Julie for their amazing work and help. It was a very stressful event and they certainly put me at as much ease as possible. From start to finish it took 14 months and all the way through they were both very engaged with me. Today was worth the wait, Michael was great in court and I was rightfully found not guilty. I would recommend Michael and Julie over and over again. Claire
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