DUI Defense Attorney Kellee Parker Harris Educates Drivers on Traffic Stops

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Attorney Kellee Parker Harris discusses how probable cause and reasonable suspicion factor into a traffic enforcement stop in a recent NALA North American Speaker Series (NASS) segment.

Attorney Kellee Parker Harris

But beware, the officer does not need to actually observe the driving or movement, as circumstantial evidence can be used.

Southern California attorney Kellee Parker Harris, founder of Parker Law Center, in a recent NASS segment educates drivers on probable cause and reasonable suspicion as they relate to traffic stops. The NALA’s NASS gives business owners a unique platform to present their stories and industry expertise to a diverse, hyper-local audience through short, poignant audio segments.

In her NASS segment, Parker stresses that it is “imperative that motorists are aware that the 4th Amendment protects their right to be free from an unreasonable seizure, and that in order for an officer to conduct a traffic enforcement stop he or she either needs probable cause or reasonable suspicion that criminal activity is afoot. If the stop is in fact based on reasonable suspicion, the suspicion must be based on specific articulable facts, and the stop can last no longer than necessary to confirm or dispel the suspicion.”

In California, for example, in order to be found guilty of driving under the influence there must be volitional movement of the vehicle. California is not a physical control state, so if the key is in the ignition, the car is on and even if the person had the intent to drive, that is not enough to be considered driving under the influence. “The vehicle must actually move, even if it is only an inch,” added Parker. “But beware, the officer does not need to actually observe the driving or movement, as circumstantial evidence can be used.”

Furthermore, in order for an officer to make an arrest without a warrant on a misdemeanor offense, the conduct must occur in said officer’s presence. California Vehicle Code Section 40300.5, however, allows for an exception when the officer has reasonable cause to believe the person was driving under the influence and certain circumstances are present. A peace officer may, without a warrant, arrest a person when the officer has reasonable cause to believe that the person had been driving under the influence when any of the following exists:

No. 1: The person is involved in a traffic accident.

No. 2: The person is observed in or about a vehicle that is obstructing a roadway.

No. 3: The person will not be apprehended unless immediately arrested.

No. 4: The person may cause injury to himself or herself or damage property unless immediately arrested.

No. 5: The person may destroy or conceal evidence of the crime unless immediately arrested.

“If an officer violates a person’s 4th Amendment right to be free from an unreasonable seizure by stopping a person without probable cause or reasonable suspicion, or if the officer arrests a person for DUI without observing driving and CVC 40300.5 does not apply then an experienced attorney can run a motion to suppress the evidence which was illegally obtained,” concluded Parker. “This can result in dismissal of all charges.”

About Kellee Parker Harris, Parker Law Center
Kellee Parker Harris is a Southern California DUI defense attorney. She is also a professor with the Criminal Justice Department at California State University, Long Beach where she teaches criminal procedure, constitutional rights, and criminal court processes. Attorney Parker is a member of the California DUI Lawyers Association, National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers, and National College for DUI Defense. Parker Law Center provides legal services throughout Southern California, including Los Angeles, Orange, Riverside, San Bernardino, San Diego, and Ventura counties. For more information, please call (800) 805-8804, visit http://www.parkerlawcenter.com or https://goo.gl/H6DbmZ.

About the NALA™
The NALA offers small and medium-sized businesses effective ways to reach customers through new media. As a single-agency source, the NALA helps businesses flourish in their local community. The NALA’s mission is to promote a business’ relevant and newsworthy events and achievements, both online and through traditional media. For media inquiries, please call 805.650.6121, ext. 361.

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