Articles Posted in Florida Criminal Defense

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100 ‘most asked ‘ questions

HOW DO YOU SAY NO TO THE POLICE?

Just say no.

If you can say no to an insurance salesman who is trying to sell you insurance, you can say no to a cop:  he is trying to sell you a prison term.

The police are an instrument of the State, not your mother or your priest.

The street is not the place to object to police actions, assert your rights, and seek fairness or justice.   That is what goes on in a court.

Just say no and call your lawyer from jail.

Loose lips sink ships.

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100 ‘most asked ‘ questions

CAN THE POLICE LOOK INTO MY YARD?

Yes.

The police can look into your yard with binoculars, from airplanes, from a neighbor’s yard, from anywhere.

If an officer is lawfully in a place from which he can view your home or yard it is with the Plainview exception to the search warrant requirement.

Looking into your yard can also mean examining your trash if it is put out for trash pickup.

You do not have any expectation of privacy in any garbage which is placed in a garbage container and left for pick up. That means your trash can be pulled and examined by police.

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100 ‘most asked ‘ questions

HOW DO THE POLICE OBTAIN A SEARCH WARANT?

To obtain a search warrant a police officer has to swear under oath, in a written affidavit, that he has probable cause to believe that the fruits or instrumentalities of a criminal act are in a certain place.   He has to have evidence, not just a “hunch”.

A search warrant closely defines where the police can go to seize the property and what the police can take.

 

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100 ‘most asked ‘ questions

CAN THE POLICE ENTER MY HOUSE?

No.

Only with a warrant or “exigent” circumstances such as: they are chasing you, they get an emergency call that someone is being beaten or shot, a fire emergency.

You have a heightened expectation of privacy in your home.  Therefore the police must get a search warrant before they can enter your home, or have a real good reason to tell the judge.

What is a home?

The law protects persons:  not places.  So what is in your mind is determinative.

Your home can be anywhere you feel like home:  at a hotel room, as an overnight guest, in your room in a rooming house.  It is always an open issue and an arguable question:  like a snail who carries his home on his back:  think home.

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100 ‘most asked ‘ questions

CAN THE POLICE SEARCH ME?

They CAN search you ONLY if…

1.  You agree to the search.

Your consent must be freely and voluntarily given, and not the product of threats, intimidation, force, or the threatened use of force.

2.  For “Officer Safety”

They can search you for weapons only IF the officer has a good reason to believe you are a threat to his personal safety AND ONLY AFTER you are lawfully stopped or detained.

  1. After an arrest.

If a cop searches you without permission it is illegal, unless they have legal cause to search you.  And that is for a judge to decide….later.

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100 ‘most asked ‘ questions

CAN A “SECURITY GUARD” MAKE AN ARREST?

 Yes.

Many states permit security guards to make arrests.

Many rent-a-cops are also off duty cops out there to pick up an extra dollar.

It is best to treat a rent-a- cop with the same concern as a police officer.     But it gets worse.

Rent-a-cops are not real cops, so you don’t have constitutional rights if they violate your rights.  That’s a wow!

If a security guard tells you to stop: Stop.   Do not speak or explain.   You do not have any constitutional protections with a rent-a-cop.

Demand he release you or call a police officer.  Be smart….. be safe….. be silent.

 

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100 ‘most asked ‘ questions

CAN I CARRY ALCOHOL IN MY CAR?

No.

It is unlawful for an underage person to have alcohol in their possession.

The only exception is if you work in an establishment that serves alcohol. You can transport it only in connection with your work.

You do not want to have a discussion with the police about actual or constructive control of an alcoholic beverage.    Nor do you want to be before a judge or the college administration.

Best not to carry alcohol in any form in your car.

It does not matter if the container is open or closed.

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100 ‘most asked ‘ questions

IF I’M UNDERAGE AND ALCOHOL IS SERVED DO I GET ARRESTED?

Yes.

It is illegal for any person to sell, serve, or permit the serving of alcoholic beverages to a minor.  The presence of alcoholic beverages and minors (under 21) in the same room gives rise to probable cause to make an arrest.

All the prosecutor has to prove is possession, either constructive, or actual.

The only exception is if you are under 21 and working in an establishment that serves alcohol: you can serve it.

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100 ‘most asked ‘ questions

CAN I BUY A BONG OR A PIPE?

Yes.

Can you possess it?

No.

This is a real head-scratcher for most of us.

A store can sell you what is obviously a device intended for the consumption of a controlled substance, but you can’t possess paraphernalia.

It’s a distinction without a difference to argue that it can be used for a non-controlled substance.  That’s not the issue.  The only question is can it be used to ingest a controlled substance.

If it can be used to consume a controlled substance it is a narcotic implement, also known as drug paraphernalia.

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100 ‘most asked ‘ questions

IF MY ROOMMATE HAS PARAPHERNALIA DO I GET ARRESTED?

Yes.

If you’re in a place, or in a space, where a reasonable person can conclude that you are either in actual or constructive possession of paraphernalia you are subject to arrest.

This can be in a car, or in your dormitory room, or in your apartment.

The fact that the paraphernalia is in another room allows you grounds to argue; but not with a cop. Perhaps in front of the jury.  Bad place to be.

If your roommate has paraphernalia either it/ he/she goes or you go.