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Supreme Court Rulings Updated by Broward County Criminal Lawyer William Moore

Broward DUI attorney William Moore has been reading up on the nomination of Judge Sonia Sotomayor to the United States Supreme Court by President Obama yesterday. Judge Sotomayor was originally appointed to the federal bench by President Bush in 1992 and elevated to the United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit in 1998 by President Clinton. At only 54, she has more years of experience as a federal judge than any of the current Justices possessed at the time of their nominations. Still, Fort Lauderdale DUI Lawyer William Moore has been looking into her record on criminal cases and especially driving under the influence.

Judge Sotomayor has ruled on just a single case with DUI ramifications. She heard a case dealing with the New York City ordinance that allowed the police department to impound vehicles driven by DUI suspects because they were used during a crime. The owners of the vehicles were not, however, allowed an opportunity to challenge the impounding of their motor vehicles for long periods of time, sometimes as long as one year after the car was taken. This is true even when the driving under the influence charge was dropped entirely or reduced to a lesser charge, such as reckless driving. Broward DUI attorney William Moore believes this law created significant problems for defendants and their families. The suspects who challenged the law’s constitutionality all cited the hardships that were a direct result of the long-term impoundment of their vehicles: inability for an elderly couple to get to medical appointments; serious difficulty getting to work or maintaining employment; inability to take a grandchild to and from school; and a suspect’s inability to visit her mentally ill daughter who resided in a neighboring state. Additionally, suspects frequently had to continue meeting their car payment obligations, although they did not have any use of the vehicle for long periods of time.

New York City argued that the procedure was necessary to protect the public safety, a rationale correctly rejected by Judge Sotomayor. The city did not prevent people who had been arrested for driving under the influence from driving vehicles belonging to other people or even other vehicles they already owned – only the ones driven at the time of the arrest. The real issues of the case, however, were seizure of property and due process. As a constitutional matter and in keeping with a long line of Supreme Court decisions, Judge Sotomayor determined that the city must have a reasonably fast opportunity for a judge to review the impoundment.

Fort Lauderdale DUI attorney William Moore provides outstanding DUI defense in Broward, Fort Lauderdale, and Fort Lauderdale-Dade Counties. If you have been charged with a DUI, contact Fort Lauderdale DUI Lawyer William Moore, P.A.

This article should be used for informational purposes only and should not be construed as legal advice nor as implied representation of any person.

Article contributed by Mallory Shipman, Esq.

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