I was pulled over with some friends and our car was searched. They said they saw a 12 pack of beer and that was their reason for searching. But there is no way they could have seen it do they have the right to search? We were handcuffed before being arrested and placed in the sheriff cruiser is this legal? They also said we were speeding but they said they used the pacing technique do they have to show proof of speeding and if so how? We were charged with drug paraphenalia, possession of marijuana, underage consumption, and possession of alcohol. Since no one confessed everyone was charged with everything. We were never given breathalizers. For a first time offender what do you think the punishment will be and what charges do you think i could get dropped? What would you do in my position? Thank you very much.
1 Answer from Attorneys
Re: Police procedure
Your scenario proposes quite a few problems. Sound like a law school problem. You state that the police officer stopped you for speeding, but did not use a radar gun. The officer followed behind you and paced your vehicle. The officer has the burden to show that the spedometer was calibrated recently. Since the spedometer is merely a machine and is subject to failure, the prosecution has the burden to show that it was accurate. Second,If the speeding is thrown out, it sounds as if there may be a probable cause issue for the beer. If there is no way that the police offficer could have seen the 12 pack, then there is no reasonable suspicion to stop the vehicle. If the Judge finds that there is no probable cause for the stop then the entire case will be dismissed as all of the subsequent evidence was obtained as a result of an illegal stop.
Assume for a minute that the Judge finds that there was probable cause and the speed was proper then we have to look at the remainder of the issues. You were not charged with DUI so no breathalyzer is required to be offered. The police can arrest you withour giving the Miranda warning as long as you are not questioned about the crime while you are in the custody of the police officer.
Another issue will be your age. Are you 18 or under? If so the will resolve this matter in Juvenile Court. They may want a plea to the underage consumption and the marijuana charge and give you some house arrest. I do not anticipate any jail time, but plan on a substantial license suspension. If you are an adult they would probable want a plea to the same offenses, but there would be a mandatory minimum license suspension of 6 months and a 250.00 fine. Based on your record and any agrivating circumstances the sentence would go up from there
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