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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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.

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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 to deal with that horrible speeding ticket


Alright, everyone hates speeding tickets.  Not only do you have to deal with the large fine, your insurance gets increased for five years.  Worse, if you have three moving violations in a year, your license can be suspended.  So here are a few things to keep in mind for a speeding ticket. 

 Be polite.  When you get pulled over do not yell at the police officer.  You need to follow instructions and be polite.  This sounds simple enough, but a lot of people want to argue with the officer.  Arguing will get you no where.  It only gives the officer more incentive to write you the ticket, to show up in court and to say that you had a bad attitude while he is testifying.  So be polite, even though you are not happy about the situation. 

 Look at the ticket.  You need to examine the ticket itself carefully.  First, look at the time and date to see if they are accurate.  Next, look at the information about your car.  See if the officer wrote the right information down correctly.  Finally, look to see if the officer estimated your speed or used radar. 

 File the appeal.  It doesn’t hurt to try to appeal your ticket.  The first hearing will be in front of a clerk.  The clerk’s hearing will cost you $25.  If you lose at the clerk’s hearing you can then appeal the clerk’s ruling in front of a judge.  The officer that wrote you the ticket doesn’t need to show up at the clerk’s hearing, but needs to show up in front of the judge’s hearing. 

 Make a decision.  You need to make a decision and figure out how important winning the ticket is for you.  You may want to just pay the ticket and get it over with.  You may also want to fight the ticket to the end because you already have two moving violations in one year.  If you do want to fight the ticket and put forth your best case, you may want to consider hiring a defense attorney for help. 

 http://articles.moneycentral.msn.com/Insurance/InsureYourCar/ItPaysToAvoidaSpeedingTicket.aspx

 Attorney Jessica Foley’s Blog on License issues

http://massdrivinglaw.typepad.com/massachusetts_driving_law/speeding_tickets/

 Turnpike looking to increase revenue by issuing more tickets

http://www.encyclopedia.com/doc/1P2-13456882.html

 Police ordered to issue more speeding tickets

http://www.bostoncriminallawyerblog.com/2007/12/massachusetts_state_police_ord.html

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

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License suspension


Most people need their license and it is an important part of their daily life. A person’s license can be suspended for many reasons. The Registry of Motor Vehicles (RMV) could have suspended the license because the court ordered it, moving violations or other rules and regulations. The court can suspend a person’s license for a number of reasons. A person’s license can be suspended for being convicted of drug related offenses, OUI conviction or even a warrant. Yes, if you don’t show up in court, the court will issue a default and a warrant for your arrest. The RMV may then suspend your license.

Driving while your license is suspended is a criminal offense, and it carries a fine and a jail sentence. The judge doesn’t need to sentence a person to jail, but under the statute a person could spend up to 10 days for a first offense and up to a year if charged with a subsequent offense. It is really silly to go to jail for this offense because your license is suspended due to a default. So you need to be careful and make sure you show up for your court dates.

To prove that your license was suspended the prosecutor needs to prove that you were operating a motor vehicle, on a public way, while your license was suspended and you had notice. Now it is the prosecutor’s burden to prove that you had notice. They will usually do this by entering the registry cert. that will include all the letters sent by the registry to your last know address. It is your responsibility to update your address with the registry. So if the registry sent a letter to your last know address, it becomes your burden to prove that you didn’t get the letter.

Finally, I have seen many people move away and get a license in a different state. That does not mean that your license is not still suspended in Massachusetts. Some states will allow you to get a license despite your status of your MA license, while others will require you to reinstate your MA license first. Running from your problems are never the answer. In the end, the problems always linger and most come back and get you. Beware of the easy way out and deal with your problems as they come.

http://www.mass.gov/rmv/suspend/index.htm

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