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  1. #1
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    Aug 2009
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    Default Being Charged With Possession and Paraphernalia

    My question involves criminal law for the state of: PA

    My son was in backseat of parked car when an officer approached the passenger who was drinking out of a red plastic cup. I think he thought it was alcohol, but it wasn't (it was the mountain dew he WAS chasing the alcohol with). After realizing it wasn't alcohol I guess, he assumed they were up to no good so began asking questions about what looked like grass remnants on the seat/floor and asked to search the car. The driver replied "no". He ordered the passenger out of the car and found a .01 with breathalyzer. He than ordered my son out of the backseat and noticed the marijuana bag (Very small amount in a bag) when he got out laying on the seat. He than impounded the car. My son took responsibility for all the marijuana. He then confided to me that the front seat friend has a pipe in the glove compartment. My son honors student headed to college in two weeks as a education major. I contacted a criminal lawyer and waiting to hear back from him. What is biting at me is did that officer have probable cause to yank my son out of the car and find the pot?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Aug 2006
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    563

    Default Re: Being Charged W/Possession and Para

    Quote Quoting WorriedPA
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    What is biting at me is did that officer have probable cause to yank my son out of the car and find the pot?
    Yes he did. (it doesn't bother you that your honors student son was using illegal drugs?)

    once the driver blew the .01 it proved alcohol was present. also if the driver was under 21 he would have a 0.00 limit and .01 is over that.

    so the driver was arrested and the people inside the car were told to get out. when they exited one guy was sitting on a bag of weed and admitted it was his.

    the problem here is why someone as smart as him was in a parked car with a drinking driver and smoking weed in public.

    divert your energy from anger at the police and re direct it toward helping your son become drug free.

    have you gotten him a lawyer yet?

  3. #3
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    Default Re: Being Charged W/Possession and Para

    Quote Quoting WorriedPA
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    What is biting at me is did that officer have probable cause to yank my son out of the car and find the pot?

    The federal constitution permits a passenger to be ordered out of a vehicle, with or without suspicion of wrongdoing.

    Although your state constitution may not permit it, a passenger that is, it is very highly unlikely it forbids it, as it is a valuable police tool.

    Let's assume it does, as the federal does, once exited, and contraband was in "plain view/sight", (say it was hidden by him sitting on it unless he moved), it is a chargeable offense.

    Let's say your state constitution forbids it unless the party is under investigation OR for a safety reason, then the officer has to articulate why he ordered him out.

    BUT, it is, as said, unlikely your state forbids it without reason?


    Held: An officer making a traffic stop may order passengers to get out of the car pending completion of the stop.


    http://www.law.cornell.edu/supct/html/95-1268.ZS.html

  4. #4
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    Aug 2009
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    8

    Default Re: Being Charged W/Possession and Para

    Of course it bothers me and I don't approve. However; this is America and I want to make sure his rights were not violated.

    1-The driver was not drinking or smoking. It was the front seat passenger.

    Chan-you probably don't have a teenager and understand the problems facing most parents with marijuana. Heck, you can buy it legally with a prescription in Ca. Just on Nighline last night they visited a physicians office and requested the drug for anxiety. He said "no problem" on camera and admitted he smokes it himself. I personally don't smoke and avoid any adult that does. However; the youth are getting mixed signals. My gut tells me, marijauna possession will not be a misdemeanor much longer. It just sucks that I'm probably out several thousand dollars and many sleepness nights praying he makes better decisions...

    The two key points for me;

    1-The car was parked. No traffic laws were violated.
    2-It was the passenger under suspicion, not the driver. Why were they allowed to order my son out?

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Aug 2006
    Posts
    563

    Default Re: Being Charged With Possession and Paraphernalia

    Chan have no teen son?
    Chan has whole Chan Clan!


    http://www.3news.co.nz/Medicinal-can...7/Default.aspx

    WWW.EROWID.ORG

    how can you buy something legally if its federally against the law?

    i just watched the same night-line clip that you did and the very last line was
    "for now it is federally illegal in all 50 states to buy sell or posses cannabis"

    if you need any help understanding any of this let me know. for ye have judged me wrongly

    (and don't make assumptions about the life experiences or knowledge of any of the posters on the board)


    i am not proclaiming a preference here i am only offering publicly available information to you.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
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    Default Re: Being Charged With Possession and Paraphernalia

    I don't know if any of them had the right to refuse the alcohol test,once he fails that he breaking the law,they can arrest him and search him. Also if he got up and the weed was in plain site then that's fair game. Ask the lawyer if the case can be dismissed if not your son might be able to get in to a diversion program or youthful offender,if either is offered.Then he could avoid a criminal record.

  7. #7
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    Aug 2009
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    Default Re: Being Charged With Possession and Paraphernalia

    Ok, just trying to understand the laws about search and seizure;

    1-If you are a passenger in a PARKED car and the DRIVER has done nothing illegal, but the front seat passenger drew suspicion because he was drinking out of a plastic cup and is breathalyzed (blows .01). The DRIVER does not agree to a search. Can the back seat passenger be ordered out of the car and searched?

  8. #8
    Join Date
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    Default Re: Being Charged With Possession and Paraphernalia

    The cops can lie and be decieving thou,thats not illegal .They can say get out of the car,if he gets up and the cop spots the weed then your son is stuck. Make sure he is honest to the lawyer even if it makes him look bad,then the lawyer can know what there working with.

  9. #9
    Join Date
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    Default Re: Being Charged With Possession and Paraphernalia

    Not a lawyer, but when a cop orders you out of a car and opens the door; wouldn't the average person believe at that point they are under arrest or really have no ability to walk away? Thus, wouldn't he be considered "seized".

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
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    9,085

    Default Re: Being Charged With Possession and Paraphernalia

    Quote Quoting WorriedPA
    View Post
    Not a lawyer, but when a cop orders you out of a car and opens the door; wouldn't the average person believe at that point they are under arrest or really have no ability to walk away? Thus, wouldn't he be considered "seized".
    then the average person would be mistaken.
    All you need in this life is ignorance and confidence; then success is sure.
    - Mark Twain

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