The Miranda rights or warnings are an essential component of the process of arresting a suspect. They were developed after the 1966 case of Miranda v. Arizona. Ernesto Miranda had been arrested and charged with kidnapping and rape. He signed a confession after a lengthy interrogation; however, the conviction was overturned because he was never informed of his rights. Today, police jurisdictions across the country are required to inform each suspect of his or her Miranda rights.
For information about the specific statements included in the Miranda warnings, watch this video. You’ll hear more about the background of the guidelines and you’ll learn what police officers do if a suspect is deaf or does not speak English. You’ll also learn what eventually became of Ernesto Miranda.
If you’ve been arrested, you need a criminal defense lawyer on your side to keep you apprised of your rights and inform you of your legal options. The lawyers of Kelly, Parker & Cohen LLP have over 50 years of experience in criminal defense. Contact us at (717) 412-1564.
On almost any major holiday, police departments across the country set up a series of DUI checkpoints, as a way to keep drunk drivers off the road. Unlike situations in which an officer pulls someone over for suspicion of drunk driving, DUI checkpoints are random and not targeted. This means that every driver can potentially encounter a DUI checkpoint and should be aware of his or her rights in the situation.
Unless police officers have probable cause that you are driving under the influence or you give them permission, they are not legally allowed to search your car. In addition, the 5th Amendment protects you from having to answer any questions that you don’t want to answer. However, if you tell the police officer that you don’t feel comfortable answering a particular question, he or she may ask you to take a Breathalyzer test.
You may legally have the right to refuse a Breathalyzer test at a DUI checkpoint, but you can still get arrested if the officers have probable cause that you are intoxicated. If you decline taking the Breathalyzer test, the police will most likely ask you to step out of your vehicle and perform a series of field sobriety tests.
Field sobriety test
Field sobriety tests are substantially more subjective evidence in terms of proving DUI. The most common field sobriety tests include the walk and turn test, the one-legged stand test, and the horizontal gaze nystagmus test. While the walk and turn and one-legged stand test both require you to maintain balance, horizontal gaze nystagmus test checks to see if your eyes can follow a flashlight laterally without you swiveling your head. A police officer may take you into custody for failing to comply with the Breathalyzer test or failing to pass the field sobriety tests.
If you’re facing DUI charges, working with an experienced criminal defense attorney can dramatically affect your case. At Kelly, Parker & Cohen LLP, our criminal lawyers have more than 50 years of combined litigation experience. To schedule a consultation, please call (717) 412-1564.
In all 50 states, a person is considered legally drunk if he or she is driving with a BAC of .08 or higher. Previously, the legal limit was .10, as it took 21 years for each state to adopt the .08 recommendations. Last year, the National Transportation Safety Board voted to recommend states lower this requirement to .05.
Even though the National Transportation Safety Board makes recommendations regarding the legal limit for a DUI, it’s up to the states to adopt these suggestions. This news report takes a look at how a .05 limit would affect local restaurants and law enforcement agencies. The NTSB hopes that a lower limit would ultimately reduce traffic incidents involving drunk driving.
Kelly, Parker, & Cohen LLP is committed to obtaining practical solutions for our clients. To schedule a meeting with a criminal defense lawyer, please call (717) 412-1564.
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Whether or not you have broken the law, it’s important to protect yourself and your property when interacting with a police officer. In order for police to search your belongings, they are required to obtain a warrant signed by a judge. However, police can get you to waive this requirement by asking for your permission to search your home or personal items.
Exercise your constitutional right
The 4th Amendment protects you against unreasonable searches and seizures. This means that unless police officers have probable cause that you are involved in criminal activity, the only way to search your property is by getting your permission. As long as you aren’t crossing a border checkpoint or going through a secure facility, you have the constitutional right to refuse random police searches.
Protect yourself in court
If you refuse to give police officers consent to search your home, they may decide to search your property anyway. If you agree to the search and the police find evidence of a crime, then the evidence is admissible in court. However, refusing a search means that an officer will later need to prove that there was probable cause to conduct a warrantless search, which is very difficult to prove. Your criminal defense lawyer will have an easier time getting the evidence excluded if you never consented to the search in the first place.
Prevent a search altogether
Even though police routinely ask for permission to search people’s property, they don’t routinely conduct searches without permission or a warrant. If you calmly explain to an officer that you don’t give him or her permission to search your property, there’s a better chance that he or she will move on, as the evidence found would likely not hold up in court anyway.
Criminal defense lawyers Kelly, Parker, & Cohen LLP has more than 50 years of experience representing clients involved in a range of legal disputes. Our client relationships are built on personal attention, high quality service, and mutual respect. If you would like to schedule a meeting with a criminal defense lawyer, please call (717) 412-1564.