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Can I get charges dropped?

Nevada City, CA |
Filed under: Vehicle searches

Me and my family were pulled over on our way to the snow for our tail lights being after market show room lights. They came and asked my girlfriend for driver license and asked if anyone was on probation or parole in the car I told them no and gave him my id and discharge card. He came back to my side and asked me if he could talk to me to where my kids counld not hear. Didn't think nothing of it got out and walked over by there car where they started to say I was on drugs and asked me to do all these different tests. At the end of it all they arrested me for being under the influence. They told my girlfriend to step out with my kids so they can search car found a baton in car and charged me with deadly wepon I was not driving nor was there anyone on probation in car. I have record nodr

Attorney Answers 4

  1. So...what's your question? Can you get the charges dropped? On what basis? Get an attorney to review all of the facts.

    Mr. Feasel is a former prosecutor in San Mateo County (CA) with over 10 years of criminal law experience. Nothing stated on this site shall in anyway be construed as legal advice, or as creating any attorney/client relationship. If you would like to hire Mr. Feasel to further investigate your situation, feel free to contact him thru this site.

  2. You say the officer asked if you would get out of the car and talk with them. You could have said no but you consented. Once you consent that gives the police carte blanche (within limits) to do what they want. This is the only possible issue I see in the facts you have posted. And there is no question so I hope I helped.

  3. The way to get charges dismissed is either through a legal defense (a motion to suppress evidence based on an illegal search, for example), a factual defense (the item isn't truly illegal, as an example) or through a diversion program that ends up with a dismissal.

    It looks like your question was cut off before you completed it. Bottom line? You need a lawyer. They can review all the facts and evidence and advise you from there.

    The above answer is for general information only and is based on the information you posted. Every case is fact dependent, so to get a thorough analysis of your situation, you will need to consult face to face with an attorney licensed to practice in the jurisdiction where the incident took place. Do not conclusively rely on any information posted online when deciding what to do about your case.

  4. It's a bad search. I mean, there are a few facts missing but I can infer enough that it sounds like a bad search. So the question I think you're asking is whether what the police did violated your 4th Amendment rights (I think so) and further, whether this is enough to obtain a dismissal (this is more speculative). The law on search and seizure is complex. Forgive this simplistic take. In essence, intrusions into your privacy must be authorized by warrant or fall within a recognized exception to the warrant requirement. And officers must be lawfully positioned for each intrusion to take the next step to be lawfully positioned, and so on. Violations of the 4th Amendment require suppression of any evidence obtained by exploitation of the illegality and that usually means dismissal. So for a very superficial analysis of your facts, here the stop of the vehicle was apparently lawful as supported by reasonable suspicion of the tail light violation. At that point, some may not be convinced the cop had a right to ask about probation or parole, but let's give them that. Once you showed evidence that you were not on probation, HERE IS THE ILLEGALITY. At this point this turned into an unlawful detention as the officer was then only authorized to detain you long enough to write your wife the citation and let you all go. Asking you out of the car was the result of an unlawful detention.

    However, the detention would NOT be unlawful if the officer had observed signs of a CNS stimulant or the like in the moments in the car when you were responding to the parole question and getting your proof. In other words, if the detention WAS supported by different reasonable suspicion as to you being under the influence, then the officer was lawfully positioned when he observed the symptoms of UI and your detention would have been lawful. Assuming you showed no valid symptoms of being UI, your arrest was also unlawful as the further investigation outside the car was a result of the unlawfully prolonged detention.

    The search of the car could be justified under strained logic as a search incident to arrest or as a public safety issue regarding the kids. So in essence, I think as a practical matter all the officer has to do is claim that he immediately noticed your pupils dilated or that you were shaking, sweaty, jittery, had a white tongue, etc., in order to be lawfully positioned to take the next steps leading to the arrest and blood test/search of the car. But don’t get me wrong. I think that in reality the search stinks to high heaven, and in my experience, judges are offended by passenger take-outs with no PC. You should definitely hire a lawyer and run that motion.

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