Laws are made to protect communities and individuals from harm, but any knowledgeable King County DUI attorney can explain that sometimes laws become harmful to the people they are made to protect. That is why the Supreme Court has successfully implemented limitations upon the community caretaker doctrine, particularly regarding DUI stops.
Texas Community Caretaker Doctrine Limitations
There are guidelines governing all aspects of the community caretaker doctrine, including:
- The individual’s location
- The nature of the individual’s crisis
- The extent of the individual’s emergency
- Any outside assistance available to the individual (besides the law enforcement officer)
- The danger the individual poses to himself or others
California’s High Threshold Rule
- California Supreme Court ruled that officers must meet a high threshold of evidence before detaining a suspect.
- There must be an apparent and significant risk to a person’s life or the potential for extensive property damage before the police can utilize the community caretaker doctrine.
- Police officers must be able to understand and describe the hazard posed to the individual or property (although a King County DUI attorney can argue that this description does not guarantee a valid detention).
Example of Doctrine Limits
In Texas, a state trooper acting under the community caretaker doctrine stopped a drunk driver. The law enforcement officer saw the car stop on the shoulder of the road and the passenger door open. The passenger (later determined to be defendant’s wife) vomited out of the open passenger door. The car pulled back onto the road and was later halted by the state trooper. The Texas court later ruled that the stop was unwarranted, according to the community caretaker doctrine guidelines.
If you think that law enforcement officers acting under the guise of the community caretaker doctrine have taken advantage of you, you should seek the advice of King County DUI attorney South King County criminal attorney now at (253) 709-5050.