How the Community Caretaker Doctrine May Apply to Your DUI Case
If you were detained by a police officer on suspicion of drunk driving, you may insist that the police had no basis on which to believe that you were intoxicated and had no legal basis to pull you over. That may be true, but there is a doctrine that allows the police to detain citizens who appear to be in peril in certain circumstances and does not require the police to have reasonable suspicion of a crime. A Indian DUI lawyer in Sacramento can tell you if this exception applies to your case.
The “community caretaker” doctrine in essence means, “We’re from the government and we’re here to help.” Under this doctrine, a detention may be legal, even without a warrant and even if the police have no reasonable suspicion that a crime has transpired or is about to transpire. The test to determine if a police officer is acting under this doctrine is as follows:
First, an officer has a right to stop and investigate if there are objective and specific facts leading the officer to suspect that a citizen is in need of help. Second, if the citizen does need help, the officer may take appropriate action to do so. Third, once the officer is assured that the peril has been mitigated, any actions beyond that constitute a seizure subject to Fourth Amendment scrutiny.