On the majority of occasions, law enforcement officials need to have a warrant in order to conduct searches, or seize items. This protection is covered by the US constitution. So, if you have been pulled over on suspicion of DUI, and you feel that your vehicle has been illegally searched, you should ask the Los Angeles DUI Attorney you have hired, to look into the matter for you.
It’s important to note that there are exceptions to the warrantless search rules in Los Angeles. Some of the general exceptions are:
When officials have been given consent to search
It’s your decision whether or not to give permission for a search to be conducted. Law enforcement officials have a responsibility to make sure that anyone giving permission for a search to be carried out realizes what it is that they are agreeing to.
When an arrest is being made
If you are being arrested, the police have the right to carry out a search. This search is conducted in order to find weapons, or items of evidence, which are relevant to the crime.
Being searched when you are crossing the border
This is the type of search without warrant that most people will be familiar with. US border searches are vital in the fight against crime, and to protect the security of the country.
When there is probable cause to stop a vehicle
If you are driving a vehicle, and the police suspect there is evidence of a crime in that vehicle, you can legally be pulled over. The police can also search the vehicle for any evidence which may be present.
When the need for a search is urgent
There are certain situations when there is an emergency which necessitates a search taking place. This could be because there is an imminent threat to life, or because a suspect is currently fleeing to avoid capture. In emergency circumstances such as these, searches can be made without a warrant.
When a person has been detained on suspicion of a crime
Anyone who has been detained because the police believe they have committed a crime can be searched outside their clothing. This type of search is usually used to check if someone is carrying a weapon.
When there is no expectation of privacy
In many public areas, such as alleyways, privacy cannot be expected. In areas such as these it’s possible for law enforcement officials to search without a warrant. In areas such as private homes and hotel rooms, there is an expectation of privacy which protects against a warrantless search. It’s important to note that there is also an expectation of privacy when it comes to electronic devices.
You can see that, although there is protection against warrantless searches, provided by the US constitution, there are exceptions to the rule. If you have any doubts about searches that are being conducted by law enforcement officials, you should seek legal assistance.