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The Controversy Over Anonymous Informants in Sacramento DUI Cases

In California, there is a significant amount of legal controversy as to whether or not anonymous tips are sufficient as legal grounds for an officer to pull a DUI suspect over. This controversy is important because if the arresting officer did not have a solid legal reason to pull over a DUI defendant, the DUI charges themselves may become invalid. While there has yet to be any ruling regarding anonymous informants in DUI cases specifically, we can examine the issue by looking at some other similar cases in which anonymous informants have been used.

One such case involved an anonymous tip which contained information regarding which hotel an alleged drug runner was staying at, which vehicle he would be using to conduct his illegal activities, and which direction he would be travelling. The case eventually reached the Supreme Court, which ruled that arresting officer could legally use the tip to arrest the defendant.

Contrast this with another case in which the tipster claimed a man possessed a weapon and gave nothing more than a description and a general location. The Supreme Court ruled that the arresting officer in this case acted improperly when arresting the defendant.

These cases show that in order for an anonymous tip to be valid, it must be detailed and specific enough to refer only to suspect in question; in addition, it must display some verifiable knowledge of the alleged crime.

Depending on the circumstances, an experienced Sacramento DUI defense attorney might be able to apply these principles to your case. Make sure you have an attorney who is flexible, as well as experienced. Call dedicated Sacramento DUI defense attorney Param Pabla today for a consultation.

Client Reviews
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“Param was excellent in my court case of failure to stop at a stop sign. The officer could not see clearly because he was too far away. The officer insisted he could and said he had video but could not produce it at the trial. The officer then asked if he could suspend the trial to go get the video but the judge said he should have had plenty of time to get the video ready beforehand. Needless to say, the judge ruled in my favor and dismissed the case which enraged the officer. Pabla Param’s defense and cross examination skills were excellent and paramount in having the case dismissed. Highly recommended.” T.C.
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