Do I have a case to get my underage alcohol consumption citation dropped?

Asked over 1 year ago - Whitewater, WI

I was cited for underage drinking in my college dorm recently. I was in somebody's room when a spat led to some shouting and I left for fear that a fight could break out. I got to my room, put on headphones, and played VERY loud music. To the point where I could not here the RAs shouting and knocking on my door so they called the police. The officers entered and asked me the details of the situation and I was totally confused as I had my headphones on the entire time. I told them I wasn't drinking and refused a PBT. They handcuffed me and took me to the police station, where I was questioned without being read Miranda rights. I admitted to drinking while in police custody but since I was not read my Miranda rights could this be thrown out? Also, was I wrongfully put into custody?

Attorney answers (3)

  1. Jeffrey W. Jensen

    Pro

    Contributor Level 13

    3

    Lawyers agree

    Answered . From the information you have given, it appears that you should file a motion challenging the warrantless entry into your room, and also a motion challenging your in-custody statement. It is likely that the police will claim that they made the entry as "community caretakers" who were concerned for your safety. That is an issue of fact, though. Similarly, you should file a motion to suppress your statement on the grounds that you were not read the Miranda warning.

    This answer is for informational purposes only. By answering this question, no attorney/client relationship is... more
  2. Michael C. Witt

    Pro

    Contributor Level 18

    2

    Lawyers agree

    Answered . The legality of the police entry into your room and thus the viability of any challenge may turn on the fine print of the dorm rules, and if all you have is a non-criminal underage drinking citation, you not only won't likely have any viable fifth amendment challenge to your statement, but you can also be called as a witness against yourself at trial. Your post does not provide enough detail to determine what the officers relied upon for probable cause to arrest, but do not post more detail here in this public forum. Schedule a confidential consult with a defense attorney instead.

    If nothing else, this should be a lesson in why one should never talk to the police.

    This answer is provided for general information only. No legal advice can be given without a consult as to the... more
  3. Karyn T. Missimer

    Contributor Level 18

    Answered . I agree with Attorney Witt's answer. You have not posted enough information to definitely say whether there is a valid suppression motion here. But, you should not post any more information online. Anything posted online may be used against you in court. In fact, this post makes you easily identifiable; and you may want to consider asking Avvo to remove this post.

    I would add you do not need to be Mirandized unless you are under custodial interrogation. In layman's terms, this means you were not free to leave and were being questioned in a manner that could incriminate you.

    Finally, here is an excellent, but lengthy video, on why you should not talk to the police: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6wXkI4t7nuc

    Good luck!

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