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  1. #1
    xjake88x is offline Junior Member
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    Unorganized Cop / Tampering with Evidence

    This is in FL, I was arrested for possession under 20g, narcotic paraphernalia, and tampering with evidence (class 3 felony).

    I have no priors, I'm a small little harmless 100 lbs kid rooted heavily into a church community. I'm a business owner, and a voter.

    I was victimized by an unorganized cop who intimidated me into admission of guilt and did not read my rights. The cop also gave me a ticket for not updating my license within 10 days of address change.

    I'm consulting soon with Jerry Berry's office which is supposed to be like the best lawyer around.

    Anyways, I've never had ANY run ins with the law I don't even know how all these procedures work the entire experience has been a learning thing for me.

    Everyone who I've talked to including a family friend who is an attorney says they will probably get dropped.

    What are your thoughts on how I should handle this, what can I expect?
  2. #2
    Ian_Y is offline Member
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    What exactly happened during the stop? More details will probably help make more accurate observations.
  3. #3
    FlyingRon is offline Senior Member
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    If you are 18, you're an adult. Weight is not important.
    Unless you were being questioned in custody, they don't need to inform you of your rights.
    Getting you to admit you were doing something illegal is good police work.
    Your best chance is to be frankly honest with your lawyer and not talk to anybody else.

    Felonies are nothing to mess with.
  4. #4
    xjake88x is offline Junior Member
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    I was questioned in custody. He asked how much I ate, where the weed was, if "all that weed I just ate" was going to make me sick (manipulative phrasing to get false admission of guilt), which address I was currently at, if I had more on me, he asked why it smelled like weed in the patrol car, asked if I hid something in the car, or ate something inside it.

    Also, the handcuffs restrained blood flow to my hands, and created cuts on my arms, which a female jail deputy was surprised to hear were from the cuffs. I was intimidated into a level of fear that I'd be charged or harassed were I to request my handcuffs to be loosened.

    I'll also note that I was 100% truthful and cooperative with the officer the entire time, and that I'm not sure how it can be tampering with evidence when Jennings vs. State says that swallowing anything doesn't constitute tampering with evidence. Especially since I was already eating it before I was getting pulled over or knew an officer was in the area.
  5. #5
    xjake88x is offline Junior Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by FlyingRon View Post
    Weight is not important.
    In this case it's very important, because the actual name of the charge is "MARIJUANA POSSESSION UNDER 20G" which means it's a misdemeanor and not a felony.

    I guess you could consider it a matter of opinion but I think the difference between a misdemeanor and felony is noteworthy and is a significant piece of information relevant to the case.
  6. #6
    You Are Guilty is offline Senior Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by xjake88x View Post
    In this case it's very important, because the actual name of the charge is "MARIJUANA POSSESSION UNDER 20G" which means it's a misdemeanor and not a felony.

    I guess you could consider it a matter of opinion but I think the difference between a misdemeanor and felony is noteworthy and is a significant piece of information relevant to the case.
    Your weight is unimportant. This isn't a dating site.
    Quote Originally Posted by Tranquility
    Once you get to crazy land, it is only a guess on how to get out.
  7. #7
    CavemanLawyer is offline Senior Member
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    Miranda is a funny thing. The time of arrest is determined by a number of factors but ultimately it is at the point that you no longer feel free to go...yet you are placed under multiple arrests, one for each offense, and you cannot be placed under arrest for an offense until the officer gains probable cause to arrest you for it.

    So while its technically possible for you to be in handcuffs and under arrest for say, the narcotic paraphernalia, the officer can still question you without reading miranda about the tampering and the marijuana, because he doesn't yet have probable cause to even arrest you for that yet. The bottom line though is that if you are on the side of the road and the officer is still conducting his investigation than legally you are most likely only being detained and are not yet under arrest for anything so miranda is not required. To simplify this concept, realize that miranda usually is not read until you are brought back to the police station and asked if you'd like to give a formal custodial statement.

    If you did in fact make custodial statements absent miranda, than those individual statements can be suppressed and cannot be used against you in trial. As for the officer being coercive and manipulative, that is exactly how they are trained to act. Suspects typically are not forthcoming with evidence when they know it will be used against them. As long as you made the statements knowingly and voluntarily it doesn't matter how the officer phrased his questions.

    As for Jennings v. State, you either did not read the opinion or you are looking at the district court of appeal's ruling, because this case, after being remanded by the Florida Supreme Court, literally stands for the exact opposite proposition that you posted.

    In Jennings the trial court granted a motion to dismiss based on the argument that swallowing alone cannot be tampering. It was affirmed by the court of appeals and further appealed to the Florida Supreme Court which reversed and remanded. Here is what they said,

    swallowing an object clearly constitutes altering, destroying, concealing, or removing a “thing” within the meaning of section 918.13.
    Jennings is the premiere Florida case holding that swallowing DOES constitute tampering.

    It seems you are further arguing that your "tampering" was not done with knowledge of a pending or impending investigation. That is a legitimate legal argument but it also begs the question why you were eating marijuana for no reason since that is not normally how it is used. If you had narcotic paraphernalia too, what was it? A pipe? Rolling papers? Either of these things further undermine the argument that you were casually eating your marijuana when you have the tools to smoke it, which is clearly the normal way to use marijuana.

    It sounds like you hired an attorney that you are satisfied with, so you really just need to wait and see what he can do for you.
    Last edited by CavemanLawyer; 12-19-2008 at 10:01 PM.
  8. #8
    xjake88x is offline Junior Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by You Are Guilty View Post
    Your weight is unimportant. This isn't a dating site.
    Oh sorry, I thought I mentioned details about the excessive use of force with the handcuffs, and those details were to show that I'm not an immediate threat to officers, nearby people, and I wasn't arrested for a violent crime.

    CavemanLawyer - I really appreciate your thorough response, the time you spent writing all of that was worth it!

    The next bit of info I have is that there was no rolling papers, pipe, lighter, or anything. The one and only item was the marijuana. To make a long story short, I was eating it basically because a series of skeptical events lead me to decide getting drugs was a bad idea.

    -- EDIT: As far as Jennings vs State, I just heard that information somewhere and I didn't research into that case myself as I'm more concerned with my case here and now.
    Last edited by xjake88x; 12-20-2008 at 01:46 AM.
  9. #9
    xjake88x is offline Junior Member
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    By the way, I want to bring up again the question "What can I expect?" and narrow it down to a less general meaning.

    I've never been through the legal system like this. Everything sounds pretty scary for me like I'm gonna be in prison for all these years and stuff..

    Everybody I know guarantees I won't see any jail time. They say at very worst I would get probation, and drug classes.

    I know nobody here can tell the future but if any of you readers can do me a favor and give me an educated guess at what type of penalties I might be facing here.

    How realistic is it that in a case this sketchy, I could face jail time?
    Last edited by xjake88x; 12-20-2008 at 02:09 AM. Reason: worse -> worst*
  10. #10
    FlyingRon is offline Senior Member
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    You can face up to a year each (unlikely but possible) on the first two. You can face up to two years (assuming that's a low tier felony) on the second. Nobody here can tell you the probability of what you might get. TALK TO YOUR LAWYER.
  11. #11
    CdwJava is offline Senior Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by xjake88x View Post
    Oh sorry, I thought I mentioned details about the excessive use of force with the handcuffs, and those details were to show that I'm not an immediate threat to officers, nearby people, and I wasn't arrested for a violent crime.
    Handcuffs are used to restrain people of all sizes - even minors. The use of handcuffs is not going to constitute "excessive force" absent some other condition or application of force. Unless you have some lasting injury as a result of the application of the cuffs, I doubt this will be an issue. And if they were causing pain, that is something you need to bring up to the officers or their conduct cannot generally be seen as indifferent or unreasonable. if they do not know that you are sitting in such a way that the cuffs have tightened up or are causing injury, it is incumbent upon you to say something. So long as their application was reasonable and within policy, then the officer will likely not be held accountable for any problem with the cuffs - particularly if you suffered no lasting damage.

    The next bit of info I have is that there was no rolling papers, pipe, lighter, or anything. The one and only item was the marijuana.
    So, what is the paraphernalia charge from?

    To make a long story short, I was eating it basically because a series of skeptical events lead me to decide getting drugs was a bad idea.
    Getting drugs was "bad" but eating them was good?

    - Carl
    A Nor Cal Cop Sergeant

    "Make mine a double mocha ...
    And a croissant!"

    Seek justice,
    Love mercy,
    Walk humbly with your God

    -- Courageous, by Casting Crowns ... http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pkM-gDcmJeM
  12. #12
    OldandTired is offline Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by xjake88x View Post
    kid rooted heavily into a church community. I'm a business owner, and a voter.
    And you prefaced your post with this information why?

    If you're from a religious family, rooted into a church community, why were you even fooling with dope in the first place?

    Are you another Jimmy Swaggart or Jim Baker? Playing the "I'm a christian" card will get you no where in the legal system.
  13. #13
    xjake88x is offline Junior Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by OldandTired View Post
    And you prefaced your post with this information why?
    If you think that's the most important information than I don't need any advice from you in particular, just someone with legal background.

    Obviously I stated I don't know much about the legal system so I don't know what's important and what's not. I'm simply trying to provide all the raw data I can.

    As far as the paraphernalia charge I guess it's the bag that the pot was in? The one and only piece of evidence was a bag with a nug in it.
  14. #14
    CdwJava is offline Senior Member
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    Interesting ... it does appear that the bag may be considered paraphernalia in your state:

    893.147 Use, possession, manufacture, delivery, transportation, or advertisement of drug paraphernalia.--

    (1) USE OR POSSESSION OF DRUG PARAPHERNALIA.--It is unlawful for any person to use, or to possess with intent to use, drug paraphernalia:

    (a) To plant, propagate, cultivate, grow, harvest, manufacture, compound, convert, produce, process, prepare, test, analyze, pack, repack, store, contain, or conceal a controlled substance in violation of this chapter; or

    (b) To inject, ingest, inhale, or otherwise introduce into the human body a controlled substance in violation of this chapter.

    Any person who violates this subsection is guilty of a misdemeanor of the first degree, punishable as provided in s. 775.082 or s. 775.083.

    (2) MANUFACTURE OR DELIVERY OF DRUG PARAPHERNALIA.--It is unlawful for any person to deliver, possess with intent to deliver, or manufacture with intent to deliver drug paraphernalia, knowing, or under circumstances where one reasonably should know, that it will be used:

    (a) To plant, propagate, cultivate, grow, harvest, manufacture, compound, convert, produce, process, prepare, test, analyze, pack, repack, store, contain, or conceal a controlled substance in violation of this act; or

    (b) To inject, ingest, inhale, or otherwise introduce into the human body a controlled substance in violation of this act.

    Any person who violates this subsection is guilty of a felony of the third degree, punishable as provided in s. 775.082, s. 775.083, or s. 775.084.

    Though, unless they can show that you were planning to deliver it to someone else, it would appear to be a misdemeanor.

    - Carl
    A Nor Cal Cop Sergeant

    "Make mine a double mocha ...
    And a croissant!"

    Seek justice,
    Love mercy,
    Walk humbly with your God

    -- Courageous, by Casting Crowns ... http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pkM-gDcmJeM
  15. #15
    OldandTired is offline Member
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    Well I'll tell ya what here Mr. "I'm a christian boy", smart ass, dopehead. If you want to GET through this legal system with minimal damage, you'll lose that crap right now.

    Your post has the appearance of, "Will they go easy on me because I'm a christian boy?"

    The answer to that is NO. They will not. You are viewed as a dopehead, just like the rest. Raw data my butt. You know you screwed up, and just like every other friggin' criminal that gets caught, you throw that BS out there.

    Are our answers supposed to be tailored to your being a "christian boy"? Your answer has previously been provided. Do yourself a favor and save the money you spend on dope, and be a good "christian boy" and give it to your church. People might look differently upon you for that.

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