Roadblocks May Violate Constitutional Rights

Roadblocks May Violate Constitutional Rights

We are all aware that law enforcement officers routinely set up roadblocks to check motorists’ sobriety, but did you know that police officers must utilize roadblocks to serve other purposes besides prosecuting drunk driving, such as vehicle license and registration inspections and identity checks?  This precedent, which was determined by City of Indianapolis v. Edmond, would probably play a large part in a skilled Orange County DUI lawyer’s defense strategy at a suppression hearing.

Orange County DUI lawyer

Basic Questioning Strategies

  • Lawyers will often first establish a basis for questioning the witness at the suppression hearing, such as asking a police officer to state his role in a DUI arrest of a suspect.
  • A common examination strategy consists of posing a group of simple questions to a witness in order to put the witness at ease and make him or her feel self-confident, since a self-confident testifier is more willing to answer beyond the lawyer’s field of questioning.
  • Your DUI lawyer will might likely wrap up his line of questioning with a pivotal question that demonstrates why the evidence should be suppressed, based upon the ruling of City of Indianapolis v. Edmond.

Establishing a Basis for Questioning

  • City of Indianapolis v. Edmond ruled that the roadblock’s purpose must be determined at the “programmatic level” and not by street patrols.
  • Therefore, a DUI attorney would probably clarify for the court that the officer did have the capacity to officially establish the roadblock.

Putting the Witness at Ease

  • After establishing the witness’s purpose at the hearing, an Orange County DUI lawyer may ask the witness a series of simple questions about the checkpoint, including the time and date the roadblock was erected and the number of motorists the police arrested for driving under the influence.
  • These simple questions often put the witness at ease and lead him or her to start establishing the relationship between the roadblock and searching for drunk drivers.

Closing Question

  • After the witness has provided an unplanned answer that breaches the lawyer’s scope of questioning, the DUI attorney will most likely sum up the line of questioning by asking the officer whether the sole purpose of the roadblock was to capture drunk drivers.
  • If the witness admits that law enforcement constructed the checkpoint in order to prosecute drunk drivers, the DUI attorney may reinforce this statement and argue for suppression of evidence based upon a violation of City of Indianapolis v. Edmond.

Now that you know the law regarding police checkpoints, take the next step against your DUI arrest and call (800) 706-7888.  The Orange County DUI lawyers at Coffey and Coffey know the law and may be able to help you fight for your rights.