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California police can now enter your home w/o a warrant

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posted on Jun, 2 2006 @ 12:17 PM
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I just ran into this article cbs13.com...

Justices: DUI Suspects Can Run But Can't Hide
Police can now enter homes of DUI suspects without a warrant.
(AP) SAN FRANCISCO Police may enter Californians' homes without warrants to arrest those suspected of driving under the influence, the California Supreme Court ruled Thursday in a case testing the scope of the Fourth Amendment right to be free from unreasonable searches and seizures.

The 6-1 decision follows similar rulings in about a dozen other states. A dissenting justice said the majority handed authorities a "free pass" to unlawfully enter private homes and arrest people without warrants.

Under the Fourth Amendment, authorities are prohibited from entering a home and making an arrest without a warrant unless so-called "exigent" circumstances are present. Those include "hot pursuit" of a fleeing felon, imminent destruction of evidence and the risk of danger to the police or other persons inside or outside of a house, among others.

In this case, Justice Marvin Baxter wrote that the loss of evidence at issue was obtaining a measurement of the suspect's blood-alcohol level. Baxter added that a contrary ruling would allow "the corruption of evidence that occurs when the suspect takes advantage of any delay to ingest more alcohol -- or to claim to have done so -- or when the suspect evades police capture until he or she is no longer intoxicated."

Baxter and the majority was cautious in saying the decision would not give police carte blanche powers.

Please visit the link provided for the complete story.


so from what i gather from it, you can be sitting at your house and having some cocktails, and some neighbor of yours that you may have pissed off in the past, could call the cops, claim that you were drinking and driving, and the cops could LEGALLY enter your home WITHOUT A WARRANT and arrest you. Now I understand that the point is to discourage drinking and driving. I whole heartedly support punishing those that do. But at what point are we going to let the government keep taking and taking? Mr. Thompson wasn't driving and was reportedly asleep, removing the immenent danger of his actions behind the wheel.

i think that it's important to point out that this is a state court decision, not federal. i am sure that this will be well tested in the federal system, and i have my doubts as to the decision's ability to withstand challenge.

mod edit to use "news" tags instead of "quote" tags
Quote Reference.
Posting work written by others. **All Members Read**

[edit on 2-6-2006 by sanctum]




posted on Jun, 2 2006 @ 12:25 PM
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Incredible.

They keep taking and taking and we just give. This nation is asleep. Another Orwellian attempt at our rights.



posted on Jun, 2 2006 @ 12:44 PM
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Originally posted by dgtempe
Incredible.

They keep taking and taking and we just give. This nation is asleep. Another Orwellian attempt at our rights.


Not really, if you are a cop tailing a suspected drunk driver(against the law) and he pulls into his driveway. Up until this point he has given you no reason to be 100% certain he is drunk, until he gets out of his car and you see him walking in a clearly inhebriated manner. You shouldnt be able to go get that guy for drunk driving? Many people die every year from drunk driving accidents. Its called probable cause, and at that point, the officer would have it. They dont want the suspects to able to go inside the house and drink more alcohol so that when the cops get there he can simply say that I just drank more inside the house before he recieved the official Alcosensor. Theres nothing wrong with this one at all. Drunk drivers shouldnt be able to go free just because officers cant retrieve them out of their house.



posted on Jun, 2 2006 @ 12:54 PM
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Right.

Nobody's saying cops shouldnt go after drunk drivers. I'm totally against drunk drivers. They should all rot in hell. Dont twist the story We are talking about the fact they do not need warrants anymore- as in they can stroll into your house-

Like the author said, what if someone is pissed at you and they call the cops and tells them they saw you driving drunk??? Off you go, arrested???
Give me a break.
How'd you like that to happen to you?>?



posted on Jun, 2 2006 @ 01:00 PM
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Originally posted by dgtempe
This nation is asleep. Another Orwellian attempt at our rights.


An attempt? It already is happening! Poor Orwell is rolling over in his grave.




Now I understand that the point is to discourage drinking and driving. I whole heartedly support punishing those that do.

I fully agree with that statement.

What about all the "what if" situations that can and surely will arise. Karby presented a wonderful scenario.

Ex: What if your neighbor does not like you? They call the police and say, "Hey I saw this person driving while intoxicated" What happens next? What if you were having a beer at home and relaxing? A cop comes in with "probable cause" due to the call they received, what happens next? How would you be able to defend yourself and prove that you were not driving while drinking that beer?



posted on Jun, 2 2006 @ 01:03 PM
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Moving to US News Discussion.

Thanks.



posted on Jun, 2 2006 @ 01:26 PM
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Originally posted by Eden
Ex: What if your neighbor does not like you?

Sounds like good reason to make friends with your neighbor.


Originally posted by Eden They call the police and say, "Hey I saw this person driving while intoxicated" What happens next? What if you were having a beer at home and relaxing? A cop comes in with "probable cause" due to the call they received, what happens next? How would you be able to defend yourself and prove that you were not driving while drinking that beer?

Really, what would happen without this law if your neighbor lied on you like that? And if the cops came and you were drunk? What would you do, hide in your house screaming "You can't come in here, You can't come in here!!!"?

Fact is, the cops have to see a crime take place to make any immediate arrest. There are certain exceptions, like wife-beating for instance, but DUI isn't one of them.

Didn't you read the posted article? Perhaps you don't understand what "exigent circumstances" means?

The dissenting judge was an alky, I'll bet.

Harte



posted on Jun, 2 2006 @ 05:07 PM
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Originally posted by Harte
Ex: What if your neighbor does not like you?
Sounds like good reason to make friends with your neighbor.


I agree. But sometimes you live next door to a$$holes not because of anything you might have done to them, it's just because they are that way.



Really, what would happen without this law if your neighbor lied on you like that?


If my next door neighbor called the cops on me because he thought I was drinking and driving, the police may or may not even take the call seriously. If the police did show up, they would not have a warrant to search my home, and I would not have to let them in. That is not the case with this new law. Nowhere in the article does it state that the officer must observe the actions for his/herself. To quote

Police may enter Californians' homes without warrants to arrest those suspected of driving under the influence
Suspection is a broad term. Do you not agree that there has no been distinction made?



Didn't you read the posted article? Perhaps you don't understand what "exigent circumstances" means?


I understand the article and the word meaning just fine. There is entirely no distinction made as to who the accuser can be, police or someone else. That's all this law needs is a clarification that it be a police officer who must observe the dui. Otherwise this leaves a very wide open door for anyone to become the accuser. It is up to the officers discretion as to whether they purse this as a "exigent circumstance"(emergency) or not.



posted on Jun, 3 2006 @ 07:23 PM
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Originally posted by Eden
If the police did show up, they would not have a warrant to search my home, and I would not have to let them in. That is not the case with this new law. Nowhere in the article does it state that the officer must observe the actions for his/herself.


What you've read here is an article about a recent finding concerning an interpretation of the rights granted in the 4th Amendment. It's not as if some new law had been passed.


Originally posted by EdenTo quote

Police may enter Californians' homes without warrants to arrest those suspected of driving under the influence
Suspection is a broad term. Do you not agree that there has no been distinction made?


I certainly do not agree that no distinction has been made. Note the following from the article:

Under the Fourth Amendment, authorities are prohibited from entering a home and making an arrest without a warrant unless so-called "exigent" circumstances are present. Those include "hot pursuit" of a fleeing felon, imminent destruction of evidence and the risk of danger to the police or other persons inside or outside of a house, among others.
In this case, Justice Marvin Baxter wrote that the loss of evidence at issue was obtaining a measurement of the suspect's blood-alcohol level. Baxter added that a contrary ruling would allow "the corruption of evidence that occurs when the suspect takes advantage of any delay to ingest more alcohol -- or to claim to have done so -- or when the suspect evades police capture until he or she is no longer intoxicated."


See, the article merely says that the "destruction of evidence," namely blood alcohol content, is the basis for this "exigent circumstance." Additionally, as you can see from the above, there are various other reasons the police can enter your home without a warrant. What if your no-good neighbor called the police and said you were beating your wife? What you are saying is that if your wife came to the door unruffled and unmarked and told them you hadn't hurt her in any way, the police would still have the right to enter your house. This is not so. The police have to have a reasonable belief that they are operating within the law as laid out above - the "exigent circumstance" part - or they are subject to not only departmental, but actual personal lawsuit liability.

Incidentally, this personal liability issue is one that the lefties tried to use against Samuel Alito. He attempted to say in one particular case, that police had reason to believe that they were acting legally under a search warrant when they searched a minor girl for drugs in the home of her Mother and Father. The left wing idealogues tried to make out that Alito was saying there was nothing wrong with the search as conducted. But the issue before the court that day was only the personal liability of the officers involved, the court was not supposed to, nor was it authorized to, rule on the legality of the search itself. Makes you think twice before you believe what you read in articles such as the one from the O.P.


Originally posted by EdenI understand the article and the word meaning just fine. There is entirely no distinction made as to who the accuser can be, police or someone else. That's all this law needs is a clarification that it be a police officer who must observe the dui.


What law? This is a court finding. The basis of what I said about how the police have to actually observe a crime (or otherwise have an actual verifiable reason to believe, like a bullethole in a head, and someone running away from the scene with a gun in their hand) before they can arrest without a warrant is also a court finding. It is just as applicable to DUI as it is to murder.


Originally posted by EdenOtherwise this leaves a very wide open door for anyone to become the accuser. It is up to the officers discretion as to whether they purse this as a "exigent circumstance"(emergency) or not.

Yes, it is up to the officer's discretion. So what? So are the other exigent circumstances in other crimes. But why fear this simple legal fact? If it turns out that the officer had no exigent circumstance, and was acting in bad faith (or in some cases, it's not necessary that there be bad faith at all,) nothing they find in your house can be used against you in any way.

Best advice is, if there's something you wish to keep hidden, hide it.

If an officer legally enters your home under some circumstance, and observes what he thinks is an illegal activity, even if the activity is unrelated to the reason he entered your house, you could be charged with a crime. However, if under the same circumstance the officer observed something because he looked under,say, a magazine on the table, why he's violated your rights!

Harte



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