The Fourth Amendment of the U.S. Constitution protects us all from unreasonable government searches and seizures of our home. While many of our constitutional rights have developed over the years based on later Supreme Court decisions, the right to be free in your home from the government barging in is one that goes directly back to the days of our Founding Fathers who wanted to create a society in which government soldiers and police officers could not trample on the private domain of citizens, as the British had done to the early American settlers. Of course, the police do sometimes come into people's homes to collect evidence to be used against them, but they must have a legally valid justification for doing so. One such justification is obtaining a warrant signed off by a judge, which requires a showing of probable cause that the home contains evidence of a crime. But a far easier way for the police to come into your home is for them to get consent by a person inside the home to let them come in. It should go without saying that a person who knows he or she has evidence of a crime inside the home would often be acting against their own interests by consenting to such a search. But the police might ask anyone they meet at the door of a house or apartment - a roommate, a guest, a family member, or landlord - to get consent to come in and search around. This is where things get trickier.
Make no mistake, a DUI is a criminal offense in Oklahoma, and the law in OK for what qualifies as a DUI is relatively strict. Furthermore, Oklahoma prosecutors frequently bring DUI charges against first-time offenders. Jail time is a possibility for an OK DUI conviction, and fines and damage to your personal reputation (not to mention the effect a DUI conviction will have on your insurance rates) are a far more frequent result of a conviction. But there are potential defenses you and your criminal defense attorney can assert to the judge presiding over your Oklahoma DUI criminal trial to help protect your rights and your interests.
One of the most common questions that criminal defense lawyers hear - especially when there has been a recent encounter with police - is "when can the police search my car?" Roadside stops by the police are probably the most frequent one-on-one interactions that most people will ever have with law enforcement, so you might think this is a question which can be easily answered. You would be wrong, and, in fact, when the police can and cannot search your car is indeed one of the more complex issues in criminal law, and one that has evolved over the years.