Put a Sock In It

I have written about this before, but it needs re-emphasizing; IF THE POLICE STOP TO QUESTION YOU AND ASK IF THEY CAN SEARCH YOUR CAR OR COME TO YOUR DOOR AND ASK TO COME INTO YOUR HOME, DON'T LET THEM. Politely tell them to get a warrant.
I was just retained by a new client who was stopped by the police when he drove out of a park and failed to use his turn signal. After asking for his license, which my client pulled from his wallet, the Officer then asked if he could search my client's car. Without hesitation my client said yes, exited the car and allowed the search. The Officer, sensing road kill, looked in the center console and found a bag containing 1.5 grams of heroin wrapped in three individual packets. Obviously my client has never watched Law and Order or read any of the other entries in my blog.

After arresting my client, he was transported to the local station, read his Miranda rights, and asked to sign a form indicating that he understood these rights. He was then questioned. During questioning, my client admitted that he had been selling heroin for the last couple years. (Can you hear the cell door clanging shut?).

He called me the next day.

If he had not admitted dealing drugs, I probably could have sought 7411 status as a first-time drug offender; probation and in 12 months, with no other trouble, dismissal of all charges. Now he was being charged with possession with intent to deliver, a four year felony, and he is not eligible for this diversion program. And when he was first stopped and allowed the officer to search his car, it meant the officer did not need a warrant which would have had to be supported by probable cause, unlikely because the drugs were not in plain sight, my client was not being arrested for anything, nor did my client appear to under the influence of alcohol or a controlled substance. He merely forgot to use his blinker which is not grounds for arrest.

In the end, I will probably be able to arrange probation and if he stays out of trouble for the next five years, he will be eligible for an expungment. But had he not invited the Officer into the car in the first place or opened up his mouth after he was taken to the station, we would have had a much better outcome.

As I have written before, don't do the officer's job for them. Keep your mouth shut and politely ask for an attorney. Even though you are scared and don't know the law, put a sock in your mouth because once you admit you are guilty to the police, you become a defense attorney's worst nightmare.