Is police officer blackmail legal and must I abide by his or her orders to clear my name and punishment?

Asked over 5 years ago - East Lansing, MI

I was pulled over early this morning (12:30 AM) due to the tints on the windows of my car being too dark. I have driven this car for over six years and have never been questioned about them. The officers wanted to search my car, which looking back I reluctantly allowed them to do so and admitted that there was a small amount of marijuana inside the car along with a small marijuana pipe, or paraphenalia. I had not smoked marijuana within the last 24 hours and the car did not smell of marijuana odor. They gave me the option to "rat on" others stating that they were interested in catching the big fish and were appreciative of my cooperation. One of the officers and I swapped cell phone numbers and he told me that all of my evidence would be thrown out and cleared off the record if I am able to set up a "sting operation" where a marijuana dealer I order from is picked off by them while in route to meeting me to make a small exchange - over 6 grams or so the officer told me would be enough for them to administer the charges they were seeking. What are my options? The officer gave me a rather loose timetable. Is there a time frame from which I could stall out of this? The people I have in mind to set up are not the type of people one wants to cross. I do not want them to link any kind of "set-up" operation back to me yet I also want to keep myself outside of the courthouse.

Attorney answers (3)

  1. John Freeman

    Contributor Level 13

    Answered . This is a common law enforcement technique. When I was a state and federal prosecutor, we utilized cooperating defendants on a regular basis. It is important to get this deal in writing. While it may be okay to rely on this particular officer's statement to you that your small possession case will go away, a safer way to go is to get an attorney that can negotiate and properly memorialize a deal in writing. You should also fully understand the potential consequences of not cooperating so you can evaluate whether the "risk" is worth it. There are several good defense lawyers in your area, and assuming things are as straight forward as they seem, it shouldn't cost you too much money.

  2. Timothy J. Klisz

    Pro

    Contributor Level 18

    Answered . The officer is offering you a choice. if you choose not to cooperate, you will be going to Court on the charges of possession. If it is your first offense, you can keep it off you record. If you cooperate with them, they can agree to not bring charges against you or drop charges already filed. This happens everday in every part of the State. Visit www.kliszlaw.com to discuss. Tim Klisz

  3. Michael J. Nichols

    Contributor Level 9

    Answered . Unfortunately, police officers have broad discretion to conduct a traffic stop. In your case, tinted windows can be a reason to execute a stop. However, they may not be unless they are in violation of the Michigan Vehicle Code. You should proceed with caution when it comes to dealing with undercover drug enforcement teams because there will be no "contractual" obligation to dismiss the charges or negotiate the charges against you. However, usually drug enforcement teams honor oral argeements. On the other hand, they play by their rules and not the court's or the prosecution's: neither branch is governed by what law enforcement tells you.
    You should contact a lawyer. Do not be penny wise and pound foolish.

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