Search of cell phone text messages without a warrant


A person has a constitutional right against unreasonable search and seizures.  Essentially every person has a right to privacy under the US constitution.  Now the right to privacy is reduced when a person is arrested or under other circumstances. 

Under these rules, police can’t randomly search people to look for drugs or evidence linking them to crimes.  Police need a legitimate reason to search a person or a warrant.  When a person is arrested, police are allowed to do an inventory of the person’s belongings.  This inventory search may lead to the discovery of illegal materials such as weapons or drugs. 

With the new world of technology, courts across the United States are trying to determine the use of warrantless search on technology.  In California, a court ruled that the police don’t need to obtain a warrant to search the text messages of a suspected drug dealer. 

In the 2007 case, the Defendant was arrested by the police on suspicion of drug dealing.  When the Defendant was arrested the police officer took the suspect’s phone out of his pocket and read the text messages without a warrant.  The court ruled that the police didn’t violate the Defendant’s constitutional right. 

States differ on this subject.  The Ohio Supreme Court ruled that arrested suspects phones can’t be searched without a warrant.  This issue is long from being resolved and may end up being reviewed and ruled on by the US Supreme Court.  Until then, it will be interesting to see how the states rule on this subject and other constitutional issues surrounding technology. 

For more information: visit http://www.attorneychan.com or contact me at 508-808-8902

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Lessen your chances of getting pulled over for DUI


It is Labor Day weekend and it is the last opportunity for most people to enjoy a long weekend before the winter.  People are going to pack the highways and the police are going to be out in full force and arresting people for DUI.  The last thing that you want is to be pulled over for DUI.  The best way to avoid a DUI is to not drink and drive.  However, there are other things that you can do to lessen your chances of being pulled over for a DUI. 

 There are obvious DUI signs that a police officer looks for in DUI situations.  Some DUI signs that may lead an officer to suspect a person of a DUI are: the car is weaving, inability to stay within lanes, car accident, failing to obey traffic lights and just driving poorly. 

 However, even if the DUI suspect is driving properly, the DUI suspect may still be pulled over for civil violations.  When the officer approaches the DUI suspect and smells alcohol, the officer may start their DUI investigation.  A person can be pulled over for many civil violations that may lead to a DUI investigation.  Some common violations are rejected inspection stickers, improper window tint and excessive sounds from the car or mufflers. 

In short, it is important not to draw any attention to yourself because your car is not in good working order.  Before you go out make sure that your car is not going to draw unwanted attention from the police.  If you have an expired inspection sticker then don’t drive the car.  Because if you been drinking and get pulled over for a civil violation, it could end up with you being charged with a DUI. 

 To find out more information regarding the different DUI offenses, you can visit the DUI index.  http://www.attorneychan.com/dui/index.html

For more information: visit http://www.attorneychan.com or contact me at 508-808-8902

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DUI Lifetime look back rule


The penalties for DUI offenses have become more serious over the years.  Essentially, in order for the Commonwealth to figure out what number DUI offense a DUI offender should be charged with, the state “looks back” at the DUI offender’s record.  Since 2002, the DUI rules of “looking back” at a person’s DUI record have changed making the punishments for DUI more severe. 

 The DUI rules prior to 2002 would only look at the DUI offender’s to see if the DUI offender had any DUI’s for the last ten years.  Now for the purposes of counting DUI offenses, the DUI laws counts CWOFs and convictions the same way. (To learn more about CWOFS https://attorneychan.wordpress.com/?s=cwof Under the DUI ten year look back rule, the state would look at the DUI offender’s record and only count DUI offenses that occurred in the last ten years.  So for example, under the old DUI rules, a 50 year old DUI offender has one DUI on his record when he was 25.  Under the old DUI rules, the DUI offender would be charged with a DUI first offense. 

After 2002, the DUI rules no longer just “look back” ten years in the DUI offender’s record.  Now, no matter how much time has lapsed, all the DUIs on a person’s record are counted.  So back to our example of the 50 year old DUI offender with one DUI on his record when he was 25. Under the new DUI rules, the DUI offender would be charged with a DUI second offense. 

This change in the DUI rules is very significant because the penalties for DUI become more severe depending on the number of the DUI offense.  To find out more information regarding the different DUI offenses, you can visit the DUI index.  http://www.attorneychan.com/dui/index.html

For more information: visit http://www.attorneychan.com or contact me at 508-808-8902

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Tis the season to be road blocks


Summer is here and the weather is going to be great. The Fourth of July makes a wonderful long weekend for everyone. As you go to cookouts and barbecues this weekend, alcohol is a staple for celebration. Just keep in mind that police are out in full force and be prepared for road blocks.

When road blocks are set up, police usually come out in full force. You will usually see several police officers with their flashing cruisers at a road block. The officers at the start of the road block stop traffic and make sure cars are going into the road block in an orderly fashion. These officers also look out for any cars that are trying to turn around and escape detection. If these officers see anyone trying to run, they will usually call for an officer that is sitting in a cruiser to chase the fleeing vehicle.

Other officers stop cars at random, usually every 4th or 5th car and talk to the operator. If the officer stopping cars detect that the operator may be over the limit, the officer then waives the suspected driver to an area for further testing. Cars sent to further testing will find other officers that will ask the suspect several questions and perform field sobriety tests. Finally, there are usually many other police officers assisting in arresting people and securing the area.

If you do see a road block don’t run. By the time you see the road block, the officer in the front of the set up will have seen you. If you run, a cruiser would be sent to stop you. Also let’s face it, if you believe you are under the influence, running away will only make the situation more dangerous. So enjoy your Fourth, but be mindful of those road blocks. Just in case, you may want to put my number in your phone 508-808-8902.

Interes9ted twitter followers please visit- twitter: http://twitter.com/AttorneyChan

Interested in becoming a Facebook fan please visit http://www.facebook.com/home.php#/pages/Boston-MA/Law-offices-of-Attorney-Jason-Chan/101494423854?ref=sgm

For more information:

http://www.eagletribune.com/local/x546151264/Police-roadblocks-legal-but-some-question-effectiveness

http://www.patriotledger.com/news/cops_and_courts/x1880507907/Memorial-Day-roadblocks

For more information: visit http://www.attorneychan.com or contact me at 508-808-8902

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How an air bag can assist prosecutors in a vehicular homicide?


All cars with airbags have a crash data recorder (hereinafter CDR) or an electronic data recorder.  The CDR is not a car’s version of a black box in an airplane.  A black box in an airplane is designed to record the entire plane’s systems data when the crash occurs.  The black box is not designed to control any safety systems on an airplane. 

The primary purpose of the CDR is to trigger airbags to protect the people in the car.  Essentially, the CDR evaluates information relative to the car’s operation and figures out whether it should deploy the airbags. 

 However, the CDR also has a secondary purpose.  The CDR can record data up to 5 seconds.  The data the CDR may have include up to eight different things:

  1. Deployment or non-deployment of airbags
  2. Speed of vehicle
  3. Throttle position
  4. Brake light status
  5. Seatbelt lamp status
  6. Engine RPM
  7. Number of ignition cycles at deployment
  8. Change in velocity of vehicle at impact

The information can be retrieved by certified technicians through the car’s data link.  This is not always possible depending on the damage from the accident. 

The car will activate the CDR when the car reaches certain combined conditions.  The CDR takes in account many factors, two being the speed of the car and the change in velocity.  When certain conditions are reached the CDR will deploy the airbags. 

As you can imagine, the speed, the change and velocity of a car among the other 6 areas of data the CDR could have can assist the prosecution in compiling a case.  For example, say if the prosecution had a theory that the defendant was involved with illegal street racing that lead to the death of a pedestrian.  Now if the CDR shows that prior to impact the defendant’s car was traveling at well over 100 mph, it would help in proving the prosecution’s theory of the case.   The airbag may be an effective device to save a life, but could also be used as an effective tool in a legal case. 

Interes9ted twitter followers please visit- twitter: http://twitter.com/AttorneyChan

Interested in becoming a Facebook fan please visit http://www.facebook.com/home.php#/pages/Boston-MA/Law-offices-of-Attorney-Jason-Chan/101494423854?ref=sgm

For more information:

http://www.harristechnical.com/cdr.htm

http://www.accidentreconstruction.com/research/edr/index.asp

http://www.iihs.org/research/qanda/edr.html

http://www.njlawman.com/news/event-data-recorder.htm

http://www.crashforensics.com/automobiledatarecorders.cfm

For more information: visit http://www.attorneychan.com or contact me at 508-808-8902

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License effects for breathalyzer refusal


 In a previous post I talked about the breathalyzer process, but how does your license actually get suspended. Remember the more you understand the process, the better you will be able to protect yourself.

During the DUI booking process the police will ask if you want to take a breathalyzer. Then the police will show you a form. On the form you can sign that you want to accept the breathalyzer or you choose to refuse the breathalyzer. Not signing the breathalyzer form is considered a refusal. Asking for a lawyer prior to signing the breathalyzer form is considered a refusal. Failing to properly administering breath samples during a breathalyzer test could be considered a refusal. Agreeing to give breathalyzer samples and later refusing  to give breathalyzer samples is also considered a refusal.

First DUI offense. Okay, so say if this is the first time you were ever arrested for suspicion of DUI. You decide not to the breathalyzer, what happens to your license? Well if you decide to refuse the breathalyzer and this if your first DUI, your license will be suspended for 180 days. If you are under the age of 21 and you refuse a breathalyzer, your license will be suspended for 3 years.

Second offense DUI. The analysis for a second offense DUI gets trickier for the purpose of license suspension for breathalyzer refusal. If it is your second DUI offense and you refuse the breathalyzer, your license will be suspended for 3 years for the most part. However, there are different situations that can change the amount of time your license is suspended. If a person was charged with DUI with serious bodily injury for their first DUI offense and then charged with an DUI second offense, then their license will be suspended for 10 years. If a person was charged with DUI manslaughter by motor vehicle, or vehicle homicide, then their license will be suspended for life.

Third DUI offense. If you have two DUIs on your record already and refuse a breathalyzer then your license will be suspended for five years.

Fourth DUI offense. If you have three prior DUIs on your record and refuse a breathalyzer, then your license will suspended for life.

That is a basic summary of license suspension, but the actual analysis is more complicated. It is not uncommon that the DMV or the police incorrectly categorize the refusal. There may also be different ways for you to get license relief. DUIs are serious and you should talk to an attorney right away if you have refused a breathalyzer.

Interested twitter followers please visit- twitter: http://twitter.com/AttorneyChan

Interested in becoming a Facebook fan please visit http://www.facebook.com/home.php#/pages/Boston-MA/Law-offices-of-Attorney-Jason-Chan/101494423854?ref=sgm

Check out the following sites for more information: Registry of Motor Vehicles http://www.mass.gov/rmv/suspend/index.htm http://www.madrunkdrivingdefense.com/drunk-driving.htm

http://www.delsignoredefense.com/lawyer-attorney-1394684.html

http://www.massdui.com/breathtestmachine.htm

http://www.dwilawoffice.com/massachusettsbreathtestrefusal.html

http://www.lawworcester.com/PracticeAreas/OUI-Statutes.asp http://www.dui.com/massachusetts

For more information: visit http://www.attorneychan.com or contact me at 508-808-8902

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DUI-What to do when you been drinking and then get pulled over


When most people get pulled over for the first time on suspicion of operating while under the influence of alcohol, or DUI they have no idea what to do. As a result, their actions can really put them in a bad situation when they go to court. Law enforcement is now more aggressive than ever patrolling the streets, and looking for drivers suspicious of DUI. Obviously the best thing to be pulled over for a DUI or to have a designated driver. However, if you do find yourself in a vulnerable position, here are a few suggestions to best protect yourself in a DUI situation.

When you get pulled over for a DUI be kind, courteous and don’t say stupid things. It seems obvious, but I have seen so many people in DUI cases are rude or say stupid things. The officer will put all of your statements in his or her DUI report, so be careful. During a DUI investigation, follow the officer’s instructions, and hand over your license and registration upon request. This isn’t a time to start telling the officer about the people you know, or to yell at the officer. DUI laws are much tougher now. Telling the police officer that you know someone that is a policeman, elected official, or any other person you may think is influential or famous will do you no good for DUI cases. If you start yelling at the police officer, it will just lead to you being arrested quicker for DUI.

In DUI cases, refuse to take the field sobriety tests. I get the question of should I take the field sobriety tests quite often. Unless you absolutely sure that you can pass all the field sobriety tests, don’t take any field sobriety tests. It is your right not to take field sobriety tests, even though police officers don’t have to tell you that. Once again be courteous and tell the police officer “no thank you, I am all set, I don’t want to take any field sobriety tests”. If you refuse the field sobriety tests, there is a good chance that you will be arrested. However, if you don’t meet the officer’s expectations in the test you will be arrested  for DUI anyway. The prosecutor cannot mention that you refused to take the field sobriety tests at the DUI trial.

In a DUI case, don’t take a breathalyzer. It is becoming increasingly difficult to suppress the breathalyzer at a DUI trial. The breathalyzer is a strong piece of evidence at the DUI trial, and it is important that you don’t take the breathzlyer. If you refuse the breathalyzer your license will be suspended. The length of the suspension depends on your record for DUIs. If it is your first DUI, then your license will be suspended for 180 days. It is a long time to have your license suspended, but it is worth keeping out the breathalzyer. The prosecutor cannot mention that you refused to take a breathalyzer at a DUI trial.

Call a lawyer. Make sure the lawyer that you hire is a good DUI trial attorney. You want a DUI attorney who knows how to try cases, and is willing to try them. You don’t want an attorney to push you into pleading guilty to the charges just because the attorney is afraid of a DUI trial.

The law on OUI-http://www.lawlib.state.ma.us/drunk.html

For more information: visit http://www.attorneychan.com or contact me at 508-808-8902

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