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Unlawful search leads to drug arrest. Please help!

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  • Unlawful search leads to drug arrest. Please help!

    Thursday - I dropped by my dealers house to pick up some bud (1 gram) and left. Less than a half mile down the road, I noticed an undercover officer behind me, and thought to myself, "Play it cool, they can't stop you if you don't commit a driving infraction."

    After being followed for a couple miles, my heart sunk as I saw the blue lights flashing. Again, I tell myself, "Play it cool", which I did. The officer comes up to my drivers side window and asks for my licence and registration, he also asks where I've been. I told him that I've been at school and was heading back home, he says "Ok". He then asks me if I have any contraband or weapons in the car, to which I replied, "No". He then asks me if I had a problem with him searching the vehicle, to which I replied, "I do not consent to a search".

    After that, he headed to his vehicle (in the mean time, another officer had pulled in behind him and was talking on his cell phone, I figured he was calling the K9 to conduct a search). Quite a few minutes later he comes back and says "I know that's not the only place you've been today" and asks to search my vehicle again, again I refuse. He then informs me that he has the authority to conduct a brief search of the vehicle and asks me to step out of the car, to which I obliged. I state again that I refused a search, which didn't stop him. He finds the drugs hidden in a bag that he opened and promptly arrests me (I must state that I also had 15 Percocets in the same bag).

    I go to the police station and they begin questioning me about my dealer and telling me that if I cooperate in a sting that my charges could possibly be dropped (after they talked to the DA), I said I would think about it (I really wasn't thinking about it, I just wanted to get the heck outta there).

    I lawyered up yesterday and he said that he could get it down to where I only have to take a drug class and possible community service. He agreed that the search was unlawful and said, "It's my word vs. the officer's". He's charging me $1000 for the weed and percocet possession as well as the traffic offence, and another $500 for an expungement after court.

    My question to you guys is, is there a better option? Should I fight it myself (due to the unlawful search)? Or take my attorney's advice and try to get the charges reduced? I know I screwed up, but I'm still frightened. I've worked too hard in school to have it messed up by a mistake.

  • #2
    Re: Unlawful search leads to drug arrest. Please help!

    I wish to inform you that the police officer’s duty to preserve evidence, arrest a suspect, or protect an individual outweighs the requirement for a search warrant. In this case, the police officer followed you and arrested you for being in possession of drugs.

    AFF

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    • #3
      Re: Unlawful search leads to drug arrest. Please help!

      Originally posted by AFFA View Post
      In this case, the police officer followed you and arrested you for being in possession of drugs.

      AFF
      While I am in no position to disagree with you on this, I find it unlawful that just because I came out of a "suspected" drug dealers house, I must have drugs in my possession. I could have been in that house for any reason. I just don't see enough incriminating evidence to warrant a search, after I asked for my 4th Amendment right to be followed.

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      • #4
        Re: Unlawful search leads to drug arrest. Please help!

        Sorry, I didn't realize I logged out.

        Comment


        • #5
          Re: Unlawful search leads to drug arrest. Please help!

          However, you did not just come out of a suspected drug dealers house. You lied to a police officer and obstructed his investigation. You are free to request they amend the charges against you adding those. The police may conduct reasonable search and seizures. To prove the search reasonable, the police must show it's more likely than not that a crime occurred and that a search will probably find evidence of the crime The officer is also permitted to pat you down for weapons, without probable cause. Finding the indications of something like the feel of a bag of weed or bottle of pills, during the weapons search, adds to his probable cause.
          Due to a recent promotion, I should now be referred to as Major Obvious.

          I would not be trying to provide information and knowledge if I did not sympathize.

          Some days it is just not worth chewing through the restraints to face life.

          Comment


          • #6
            Re: Unlawful search leads to drug arrest. Please help!

            For you to be coming from that block may well have been enough. They know who the dealers are. They know why you are there. You have a right against "unreasonable" searches. This one appears completely reasonable. No one drops in for a social call with a drug dealer. Further they likely saw you were there for just a few moments.

            Take the plea and lesson learned.

            Comment


            • #7
              Re: Unlawful search leads to drug arrest. Please help!

              Originally posted by heelstar View Post
              Thursday - I dropped by my dealers house to pick up some bud (1 gram) and left. Less than a half mile down the road, I noticed an undercover officer behind me, and thought to myself, "Play it cool, they can't stop you if you don't commit a driving infraction."

              After being followed for a couple miles, my heart sunk as I saw the blue lights flashing. Again, I tell myself, "Play it cool", which I did. The officer comes up to my drivers side window and asks for my licence and registration, he also asks where I've been. I told him that I've been at school and was heading back home, he says "Ok". He then asks me if I have any contraband or weapons in the car, to which I replied, "No". He then asks me if I had a problem with him searching the vehicle, to which I replied, "I do not consent to a search".

              After that, he headed to his vehicle (in the mean time, another officer had pulled in behind him and was talking on his cell phone, I figured he was calling the K9 to conduct a search). Quite a few minutes later he comes back and says "I know that's not the only place you've been today" and asks to search my vehicle again, again I refuse. He then informs me that he has the authority to conduct a brief search of the vehicle and asks me to step out of the car, to which I obliged. I state again that I refused a search, which didn't stop him. He finds the drugs hidden in a bag that he opened and promptly arrests me (I must state that I also had 15 Percocets in the same bag).

              I go to the police station and they begin questioning me about my dealer and telling me that if I cooperate in a sting that my charges could possibly be dropped (after they talked to the DA), I said I would think about it (I really wasn't thinking about it, I just wanted to get the heck outta there).

              I lawyered up yesterday and he said that he could get it down to where I only have to take a drug class and possible community service. He agreed that the search was unlawful and said, "It's my word vs. the officer's". He's charging me $1000 for the weed and percocet possession as well as the traffic offence, and another $500 for an expungement after court.

              My question to you guys is, is there a better option? Should I fight it myself (due to the unlawful search)? Or take my attorney's advice and try to get the charges reduced? I know I screwed up, but I'm still frightened. I've worked too hard in school to have it messed up by a mistake.
              When criminal charges are pending, it would be foolish to fight it yourself. You made one dumb move, buying illegal weed so don't compound it by going alone into the courtroom on a criminal rap. Even a lawyer would get a criminal defense lawyer to represent him rather than live up to that old saw: " A lawyer who represents himself has a fool for a client."

              Go by your lawyer's advice. He knows the law and further what he can bargain for you -- better than you can for yourself. The policeman may testify he saw you come out of the dealer's house or another policeman reported it, so do not be so confident there was no reason for the search.

              Comment


              • #8
                Re: Unlawful search leads to drug arrest. Please help!

                Originally posted by heelstar View Post
                Thursday - I dropped by my dealers house to pick up some bud (1 gram) and left. Less than a half mile down the road, I noticed an undercover officer behind me, and thought to myself, "Play it cool, they can't stop you if you don't commit a driving infraction."
                INCORRECT!


                Quite a few minutes later he comes back and says "I know that's not the only place you've been today" and asks to search my vehicle again, again I refuse.
                Was your stay brief as to indicate, enter, sale made, exit?

                Should I fight it myself (due to the unlawful search)?.
                You say it violated the 4th AM? Due to your prior statement about a traffic infraction, it is obvious you do not know the law.


                That is what your attorney is for. Stopping a motor vehicle is a seizure, this is settled law. The seizure only need be "reasonable" as the touchstone of the 4th AM is reasonableness. Exiting a known/suspected drug house, you attorney will tell you, is most probably enough to conduct a Terry Stop/Investigative detention, as only a "Reasonable Supicion" an offense has been committed is enough to stop you. Probable Cause is not needed, but can also provide the basis, yes.

                Next, once stopped lawfully, let's assume so, IF he suspects/reasonably believes a weapon may be "close at hand" a limited search may be made, console, under the seat, etc, see Michigan v. Long. If drugs are discovered when such a saerch is made, they are admissable against you unless the court rules otherwise, that is, the Exclusionary Rule is applied.

                Drugs are often associated with weapons.

                Additionally, if he has PROBABLE CAUSE to believe contraband is in the car, he can search it without a warrant under the "Automobile Exception" to the warrant requirement. A cursory weapons search does not require PC though.

                That is what the Courts are for, to determine what was in the mind of the officer an did it provide justification for the search.

                Comment

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