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San Francisco DUI Lawyer - Prolonged Detention Waiting for DUI Expert Cop

Posted on in DUI

Have you been charged with a DUI San Francisco, DUI Marin, DUI Sonoma or DUI Napa? My name is Paul Burglin and I am a San Francisco Bay area drunk driving attorney who for over 25 years has specialized in drunk driving defense in San Francisco, Marin, Sonoma, Napa and surrounding communities. I am also the co-author of "California Drunk Driving Law".

In this series of blog postings I am going to discuss search and seizure issues related to drunk driving cases. However, the totality of search and seizure law is perhaps as voluminous and complicated as drunk driving (DUI) law.  

Today's Post: DETENTION AND ARREST | Seizure of a Person | Prolonged Detention Waiting for DUI Expert Cop

Occasionally, the defendant will be detained without probable cause for an arrest while a special drunk driving expert is called to administer field sobriety tests. For instance, some sheriff's deputies routinely summon and await the arrival of a CHP officer for this purpose. If the delay until the expert arrives is too long, the extended detention without probable cause violates the Fourth Amendment.

In this series of blog postings I am going to discuss search and seizure issues related to drunk driving cases. However, the totality of search and seizure law is perhaps as voluminous and complicated as drunk driving (DUI) law. 

An investigative detention must be temporary and last no longer than is necessary to effectuate the purpose of the stop. In U.S. v. Sharpe (1985) 470 U.S. 675, the court held that a 20-minute delay during an investigative stop was not unreasonable. Stating that there is no "bright line" rule, the court defined the standard as: "whether the police diligently pursued a means of investigation that was likely to confirm or dispel their suspicions quickly, during which time it was necessary to detain the defendant." [California cases are People v. Gomez (2004) 117 Cal.App.4th 531-A delay of over one hour to obtain a K-9 unit to do a narcotics search of an automobile constituted an illegal detention. The denial of the defendant's suppression motion was nonetheless upheld due to the fact that the court found the officer had probable cause to make what the court termed was a de facto arrest. People v. Gorak (1987) 196 Cal.App.3d 1032-20-minute delay for drug influence expert was okay; and People v. Dasilva (1989) 207 Cal.App.3d 43-20-to-25-minute delay to check out-of-state registration was O.K.; also see U.S. v. $191, 910 in U.S. Currency (1991) 772 F.Supp. 473.]

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