This is the first post in a series which will discuss how to challenge the admission of evidence found after Little Rock, Arkansas police stopped a defendant’s vehicle. We feel it is necessary to write on this topic as many people, who find themselves accused of a crime, are unsure of how they should proceed after they have been arrested. It is important to understand that you have options. An experienced criminal defense attorney can help you to understand these options. Contact our office today to speak with a lawyer.
We will be addressing a number of topics over our coming articles. Issues which we will analyze include:
- When the police may stop a vehicle
- The extent to which law enforcement can search a driver or the inside of a car
- Whether police may search containers stored inside of a vehicle
- The ability of law enforcement to perform an “inventory” search
- Challenging the admission of evidence which was unlawfully obtained
There are several reasons why defendants need to understand these topics. First, the police may not stop a vehicle simply because they want to. Officers may only stop a car if they have “reasonable suspicion” to believe that the driver has committed, or is about to commit, an illegal act. Second, officers may have a driver exit a vehicle upon a stop and they may search his or her “immediate” area but simply stopping a car does not give them the right to conduct a complete search. Third, there are requirements which the police must meet in order to search containers or closed packages. Fourth, law enforcement will generally be allowed to search a car after it has been impounded but there may still be instances in which discovered evidence can be excluded from trial. Finally, understanding the process for challenging evidence will help to ensure that things go smoothly.
It is important that you contact counsel immediately if you or a loved one were arrested after a vehicle stop. It is important that immediate steps be taken to protect your rights and by speaking with a lawyer sooner, rather than later, you help to ensure that those rights remain protected. Our Little Rock attorneys have extensive experience in handling such matters and we are ready to assist you. We also handle matters in Fayetteville, Fort Smith, Springdale, Jonesboro, North Little Rock, Conway, Rogers, Pine Bluff and throughout the rest of the state.