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Was I a pedestrian or a motorist?

Dunkirk, NY |
Filed under: Criminal defense

I was driving home from the store one day when a vehicle, apparently a police car, tailgated me home for about the last quarter mile of my trip. I arrived home without being pulled over. I then exited my vehicle in my driveway and walked onto my porch about 15 feet away. At this point the police car did turn on their emergency lights and pull into my driveway. So I stopped heading into my house to find out what they wanted. The only communication they made was to demand that I return to my vehicle. When I didn't return to my vehicle, they arrested me for obstruction of governmental administration. At the time my thinking was that since I had legally exited my vehicle prior to police contact that I was not under obligation to return to it since I became a pedestrian upon exit.

Attorney Answers 2

Posted

Walking away, or even running, away from a police officer is not a crime in New York. Were you taken into police custody? If so, for how long? You may have a claim against the police for false arrest. I am a former federal and State prosecutor and now handle civil rights violations so feel free to check out my web site and contact me.

The above is for informational purposes only and not meant as legal advice.

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Posted

Yes I was arrested. It probably is worth knowing that the police allege that I had been speeding (i was not) when they first started following me (half a mile from my house), they had no radar in their car, were a block away, and on a different street. My main question still is does it matter that I had already exited my vehicle when the emergency lights were activated?

Posted

The first question that arises is 'what was the basis for the police stop in the first place.' While this is not a resisting arrest charge that body of law is instructive. It is not unlawful to resist an unauthorized arrest (although doing so is not recommended for safety reasons). It sounds like they cite no illegal conduct other than your refusal to get back into the vehicle. Mr. Rothstein is correct. You have rights that should be explored.

As we don't know enough about your case, you should not consider my answer to be legal advice. You would need to consult with an attorney at length and include details about what has occurred in order to adequately assess your criminal exposure.

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Posted

The police allege I was speeding. They had no radar and were on a different street about a block away. I am sure it was an afterthought. Their accusation of me speeding amounts to "it looked like he was going fast." I was not speeding. They never turned on their emergency lights while I was in my vehicle. I was already on the porch of my house when they turned on their lights and demanded I return to my vehicle. So where you say 'what was the basis for the police stop,' goes to my original question. Since I had already arrived at my destination and exited my vehicle before police lights were on, did I have the rights of a pedestrian or as a motorist? And does that matter? Thank you very much for your responses too.

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