I was arrested for possession of cannabis. After calmly and politely stating, "Officer, I do not consent to any searched", the officer opened my car door, threw me out of the car, cuffed me, and threw me against the car. He illegally opened up an opaque, sealed bag containing cannabis and whatnot, and proceeded to take me to the station. Two witnesses/friends were in the car with me. I was never booked - no fingerprint, no anything. I was told I received an administrative citation and I would have no record whatsoever. I ended up going to city hall and had to pay about $150 for the ticket and it was over.
My interpretation, is that the arresting officer (the same one detailed in this police intimidation lawsuit: http://chicago.cbslocal.com/2011/05/18/brothers-fight-over-autographed-baseballs-leads-to-lawsuit/) realized he made a mistake, and tried to look like the good guy by doing all he could do to help me and give me the citation instead of formally arresting me. Charges were never filed. I was told I have a local record, although I have passed a background check (I have since applied and received a job that I can confirm did do a background check on me), and I can confirm that the Illinois State Police have absolutely no record of this incident.
Do I have anything to worry about and do I need to get anything expunged? Is there a local record? I was told there was and have filed for expungement twice - the first time didn't go through because the only case number they could find on me was related to a speeding ticket (which obviously can't be expunged) and the second time around, I received a note that said "No Hit - Petition".
Lastly, do I have a case against the arresting officer? I was sitting in the car, hands at my side, and simply said to the officer (through an open window and a closed car door), I do not consent to any searches. HE opened the door and literally threw me out of the car. He then searched my entire body claiming he was looking for weapons and whatnot - I'm a 5'3" suburbanite who couldn't be any less threatening.
1 Answer from Attorneys
Yes, you potentially have a "1983" case. 1983 is a federal statute that protects private citizens from violations of their constitutional rights, including the right to be free from unreasonable searches and seizures. Do you have any documentary proof of this incident? Video? Pictures? Or do you just have these two witnesses?
Where was the opaque bag? Do you still have it?
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