My question involves criminal law for the state of: Connecticut
On 10/23/08 I was driving with my boyfriend as he was going to drop me off at my school. We had pulled out behind a university police car on a road, and the cop quickly veered off into an enclave, obviously trying to hide there and wait to pull back out behind us which he did, at a stop sign. After the stop sign we pulled onto the main road and he immediately began to flash his lights; when we pulled over he said we had waited at the stop sign for too long so he thought we were drunk. First thing is we may have been there two seconds too long, and weren't drunk. When he looked at my boyfriends name on his license he remembered that he had encountered him a few weeks prior- when he had found him with paraphanelia but no pot, and made him break the piece but didn't charge him with anything. Because of this incident the officer said that he had reason to believe that he had marijuana on him, and called the unit with the dogs. He told us to get out of the car and without permission had the dog search the vehicle. The dog found paraphanelia and about a gram of marijuana in his possession, and kept searching through the car at which point the cop searched through my purse without permission to find a half gram and paraphanelia. They read us our rights after all of this, and then arrested us. We are both being charged tomorrow with possession of less than four ounces and drug paraphanelia, and he is also being charged with obstruction of view for having a bandanna hanging from his mirror. My main questions are as follows: If he was pulling us over because he thought we were drunk, did he have any right to come to the conclusion that we had pot...he didn't even conduct any tests to see if we were drunk. Does the bandanna really constitute as obstruction of view if its not actually blocking the drivers view? Were they fully justified in searching the car on the grounds that were stated, as we were not under the influence at the time, there was nothing in view and there was no smell. Particularly, since I have never been in trouble with the cop before how did he have the right to search my things? Is there any way to argue that we should have been informed of our right to remain silent before they questioned us about our things? Are there ways to prove the cops were biased in following us or that the dog was either incompetent or didn't have the right to enter the vehicle? I was also wondering, my boyfriend has offered to tell the court that what was found in my purse was put there by him, will this work or is it a bad idea? I would also appreciate it if you could tell em what you think might happen tomorrow in court. We cant afford lawyers so were representing ourselves. Sorry for so many questions...I just found this site today and I'm freaking out, but if anyone could help it would be amazing...thanks.