Here Los Angeles DUI attorney discusses how to defending a Los Angeles DUI where the police came and arrested someone at their home. An obvious defense for a DUI case like this is to argue that at the time of driving, there was no impairment.
Usually, a police officer has to personally observe a misdemeanor to place a person under arrest without a warrant (Penal Code section 836). In 1997, California created an exception to this rule to allow police not to observe the commission of a misdemeanor to arrest for violations of the California Vehicle Code. (Vehicle Code section 40300.5). That exception flies in face of the Search and Seizure protection of the U.S. Constitution.
Now, police can make DUI and other arrests when there is no observation of driving when:
(1) “the person was involved in a traffic accident, or
(2) the person is observed near a vehicle that is obstructing a roadway, or
(3) the person will not be apprehended unless immediately arrested, or
(4) the person may cause injury to himself or herself or damage property unless immediately arrested, or
(5) the person may destroy or conceal evidence of the crime unless immediately arrested. This statute can be applied to make DUI arrest at home when the police believe that one of the above reasons can be used.
Los Angeles DUI lawyer can help you win your DUI when you are arrested for a DUI under Vehicle Code section 40300.5
Here, Los Angeles DUI Attorney discusses the 5th exception to the warrantless arrest requirement listed above in California Vehicle Code 40300.5(e). The Supreme Court of California’s interpretation of CVC 40300.5 statute in a case of People v. Thompson permits the arrest of drivers suspected of a DUI when driving was not observed by officers and when the driver is at his home. Thompson case thus limits the protection of the 4th amendment so that police are now permitted to enter a home where they believe a DUI driver lives to arrest him without a warrant after a tip from another person.
PEOPLE v. THOMPSON
In People v. Thompson, a 2006 case (38 Cal. 4th 811), the defendant was home when the police arrived on a tip by a civilian. Fearing that Thompson’s blood alcohol level will drop naturally if an arrest is delayed, police entered Thompson’s home without permission or warrant and arrested him for a DUI. Supreme Court upheld the conviction reasoning that Section 40300.5 permits such arrests under the “exigent circumstances” exception to the 4th amendment.
So, the Supreme Court of Calfornia allowed for the police to arrest a person suspected of a DUI no matter where he is located and no matter if the officer observed driving or not. If you or your loved one is arrested for a DUI in Los Angeles, you will need the help of a DUI defense attorney skilled in litigating search and seizure motions. Do not worry, Los Angeles DUI attorneys can be successful in defending DUI arrest at home even after Thompson. All search and seizure litigations are fact specific and require analysis by our skilled DUI defenders who are able to distinguish cases and show to a judge that your case is different from Thompson and must be dismissed. For example, in Thompson, the door to his home was left open, and the entry by the officer was only a few feet beyond the threshold of the house. Thus, the court believed the intrusion was minimal, and in the process limited Thompson to its facts.
PEOPLE v. RAY
Not a DUI case but, in People v. Ray, the California Supreme Court went even further, stating that an open door warrants police entry under a “community caretaker” exception to warrantless entry into the home, to make sure that the occupants of the home are not in need of urgent attention. In People v. Ray, the police investigation was based on an anonymous tip that said that the door is open and looked like “someone has gone through the house”. Once police arrived at the home, they walked in through the open door and observed large quantities of cocaine. The occupant of the home was charged with possession of cocaine and tried to win his case by filing a motion to suppress the warrantless entry into the home. The trial court suppressed the entry, the Court of Appeal reversed and The Supreme upheld the Court of Appeal decision on a different ground. The Supreme Court end up reversing the suppression of the evidence by the trial court based on the “community caretaker” exception to the search used previously in a 1973 United States Supreme Case of Cady v. Dumbrowski. Los Angeles DUI Attorney believes that the holding of People v. Ray is incorrect because subsequent federal courts of appeal decisions held that Cady v. Dumbrowski holding is limited to searches of cars. Here, Los Angeles DUI Attorney believes that if the People v. Ray case would have be heard in front of the US Supreme Court, the US Supreme Court would have reversed the California Supreme Court decision in People v. Ray, and suppres the cocaine observed by police during their warrantless entry into a house to make sure occupants were not in need of assistance. Federal cases of US v. Pichany and US v. Erickson both held that community caretaker exception are limited to cars and cannot be used to justify entry into a home without a warrant.
If you were arrested while at home, consider having an experienced Los Angeles Criminal Defense Attorney or Los Angeles DUI Attorney fight your case to ask the court to throw out the evidence used to prosecute you. If the evidence of your crime is thrown out, your Los Angeles Criminal case will be dismissed. If the evidence of a Los Angeles DUI is thrown out, your Los Angeles DUI case will be dismissed.
Later federal cases reach a contrary conclusion to California Supreme Court and conclude that a DUI arrest at home is illegal.
For a facts-specific discussion of your case please call (818) 921 7744 to talk directly with an attorney. We can help you fight your DUI case no matter how desperate your situation might seem. Our defense focuses not only on defending your DUI but also on keeping your driver’s license and any professional license you might have. Los Angles DUI lawyer is known to provide quality representation at affordable prices. Los Angeles DUI attorney experience allows us to know how to best approach every case and get the best possible result for our clients. If negotiation fails, Los Angeles Attorney will aggressively defend your case in the trial court. Call (818) 921 7744 for a free consultation now.