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Unfair charges Alcohol & Drugs: MIP, MIC, Intoxication

Discussion in 'Criminal Charges' started by harmony, Jul 23, 2001.

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  1. harmony

    harmony Law Topic Starter New Member

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    My husband was arrested a few days ago and charged with running a red light and possesion of crack cocaine. He was driving down a street in Albany, looking for a bar. It was a hot evening, he had the windows down and, foolishly the doors unlocked. A girl jumped into the passengers seat, screamed her name and "they're after me!", so he thought she was being raped or chased by a gang. He rolled the red light and immediately a cop car turned on their lights. He thought "Good, they will help her and immediately pulled over, and exited the car as the officer told him to. As the girl exited the passenger side she threw some bags of cocaine down on the passenger's side floor and the middle console. The police officers called her by name, leading him to believe she had had other run ins with the law. He was calm and compliant with the officers, told them the story, even told them to test him for alcohol or drugs in his system, which they said was not necessary. His bail was set at $250 and they even told me as I bailed him out that $200 was fine. We understand the girl's story is that they are good friends and that all of the drugs were his. WHere do we go from here? He is in college for pre-med and cannot have this on his record.
    Can anybody offer some suggestions? We have no money so he is going to the public defender, but is afraid they are going to want him to cop a plea for something he did not do
     
  2. Michael Wechsler

    Michael Wechsler Administrator Staff Member

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    Very, very odd story. Remember that what I'm saying is for discussion purposes only and I have no idea of all the details of the case. I cannot obviously give you advice here and the defense attorney, who is familiar with all aspects of the case, is the most appropriate person to answer your questions accurately.

    First... how did they arrest him for possession of crack? From what I see some girl supposedly jumped into the front seat of his car and then disposed of the drugs on the floor. That does not mean that he ever had possession of the drugs.

    Second, if he didn't know it was drugs then I'm pretty certain he must be found not guilty. Virtually every criminal law, and especially the ones with incarceration as a penalty, require two elements for a conviction -- mens rea and actus reus, a guilty mind and a guilty act, respectively. If he did not know the substance was crack, then he did not have a guilty mind for, e.g. knowingly possessing crack/cocaine. He may not even be guilty for possession either.

    Third, does he have any prior arrests? If he doesn't, this will be a hard one for an ADA to pin on him.

    Fourth, does he actually know this woman? If he has never seen her before in his life and she has been arrested prior to this incident for possession, then it would seem the ADA will have an impossible job of convicting him. Let her explain how they know each other.

    It's a really strange story, especially the part about her screaming her own name. The fact that the officers supposedly know her by name... if she has been prior arrested then I don't even see why your husband would even want to take a plea. I'm not even sure why an ADA would want to pursue it with such flimsy evidence. You need to hear what is said....

    There is a lot here that we may be missing.
     
  3. harmony

    harmony Law Topic Starter New Member

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    What happened at court

    First, Michael, thank you for your advice.

    We did go to see the public defender who echoed many of your thoughts as well as said this case would probably be ajourned for 6 months and forgotten about or a slight fine for rolling the red light. He felt that they were using my husband to make the charges stick on the woman who jumped in the car.

    At court, after a brief discussion with the D.A., the charge was reduced to loitering, and no fee was given, but they did keep the bail money to cover "court charges". My husband has given up looking for late night spots to play pool in and has been reading to deal with his insomnia.:)
     
  4. Michael Wechsler

    Michael Wechsler Administrator Staff Member

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    Re: What happened at court

    Glad that it ended up being nothing potentially serious in the end although I sympathize with you regarding the whole experience. I think the reading is a good idea :) and I've found that a sure-fire cure for insomnia is law school! :D

    Best of luck.
     

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