Mays Law Office Media Recognition
Attorney Stephen E. Mays is consistently gets media recognition, as one of the top lawyers in the state in the field of DUI and Criminal Defense. On multiple occasions, he has been named one of Madison’s Top Lawyers in the area of drunk driving and traffic violations, an honor voted on and awarded to him by his legal peers. He has consistently been named a SuperLawyer, receiving that distinction again in 2013, a list featuring the top 2.5 percent of lawyers in the State of Wisconsin in the field of Criminal Defense: DUI/DWI.
Steve’s radio interview with Kurt Baron on “Mind Your Business”. (Part 1 of 2)
Steve’s radio interview with Kurt Baron on “Mind Your Business”. (Part 2 of 2)
US Supreme Court Decision On Vehicle Searches
Local media relies on Attorney Mays to explain latest changes in search and seizure laws. See interview with attorney Stephen E. Mays on the topic of Arizona v. Gant and limiting vehicle searches.
The deciding case, “Arizona v. Gant,” took 10 years to make it to the high court. Citing the Fourth Amendment’s guard against unreasonable searches and seizures, the Supreme Court’s 5-to-4 decision ruled that enforcement should not come at the expense of privacy. The court’s ruling means that when an officer makes a traffic arrest, the decision to search the vehicle cannot start without a warrant, which is a change from the past three decades of warrantless searches.
Local drivers said they have mixed feelings about the ruling. “If you got pulled over and arrested for something to begin with, you’ve kind of waived your rights to privacy,” said Mark Spaith, an area driver. But driver Tony Ried said police should have a warrant to search. “They got to have a search warrant, because if you didn’t have a search warrant, police be searching through your stuff, tearing your stuff up, pulling papers out,” Ried said. “And then you got to go and put the papers back in. You got to clean up your van.”
But Capt. Vic Wahl, of the Madison Police Department, said he’s concerned that potential crimes might now be overlooked. “With this decision, it really turns that area of the law on its head and really limited the situations now,” Wahl said. “I do think there will be certainly instances where, two weeks ago, we would’ve discovered weapons, drugs or contraband that now we will not discover because of the restrictions from this ruling.”
Defense Attorney Stephen Mays said the decision rightfully puts citizens’ privacy in the forefront. “Constitutional protections are big,” Mays said. “It’s not one of those situations where you look to protect the 1 percent of the people that are out committing crimes, (but) rather the 99 percent of us that aren’t. So I think it gives back a little bit of expectation of privacy.” There are exceptions to the new requirement.
The Supreme Court ruled that police can search without a warrant if there is a threat to an officer’s safety or if the officer believes the vehicle contains evidence pertaining only to the arrest. The exceptions provide some gray areas for law enforcement, and those exceptions will weigh heavily on an officer’s prerogative, WISC-TV reported.
The Madison Police Department said it hopes to continue educating its force on the law’s subtle details. “You have officers that make decisions in a snap of a finger in a few seconds, dealing with very complicated legal issues every day out on the street,” Wahl said. Meanwhile, those supporting this ruling said they hope a dialogue on privacy rights remains on the minds of law enforcement.
Attorney Stephen E. Mays practices in all areas of criminal and traffic defense throughout the entire State of Wisconsin. If you have been charged with a traffic violation or criminal conduct, call Mays Law Office – click toll-free: (866) 257-0440 Attorney Stephen E. Mays today for a free case review.