Know Your Rights
It is a Saturday night and four people are driving to a party from Redwood City to San Francisco at approximately 8:00pm in a white Honda hatchback. As they drive into the heart of San Francisco, they see colorful lights flashing wildly in the rear view mirror. Everyone groans and mumbles a few swear words as the driver pulls over to the side, turns off his car, and rolls down his window halfway for the officer approaching his car.
“License and registration,” the officer says firmly. The driver hands him the information. “Why do you think I pulled you over?” he asks. The driver looks at the officer and shrugs his shoulders in silence. The officer looks at the passengers and then the driver and asks where they are going. The drivers goes, “Uh, um, a friends house.” Everyone in the car becomes a little uneasy because they all know they are under the age of 21. The officer becomes suspicious and asks everyone to get out of the car, which everyone obeys. The officer looks at the driver and asks, “Would you mind if I search your vehicle?” The driver replies back with, “Officer, I do not consent to any searches”. He is well aware of his 4th amendment right which guarantees freedom from “unreasonable searches and seizures,” unless a warrant is obtained with probable cause, which in this case, there is no warrant or a legitimate reason for the car to even be searched. Unfortunately, the officer proceeds to search the car anyways, regardless of the driver’s response. As the officer searches the vehicle, he finds a bottle of vodka under the passenger seat. Since the officer proceeded to the search and found illegal contraband, an attorney can argue that the contraband was discovered through an illegal search and the case should thrown out of court.
The officer places everyone under arrest for minors in possession of alcohol and also gives the driver a DUI for the alcohol being in the vehicle in the first place. What the officer forgets to do during...