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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Feb 2013
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    3

    Default Caught With Drugs When Police Came to My Address by Mistake

    My question involves criminal law for the state of: Virginia

    Setting:
    I have a shop where I work on race cars. It is a cluster of multiple shops that people rent. I have a 3 bay that is seperate from everyone else. The entrance to my shop has 3 signs that say NO TRESPASSING with a gate but the gate is always open.


    Situation:
    I was working on my car, while smoking marijuana with my girlfriend. I did have a single beer as well (about an hour prior to cops showing up). So I finished my car and decided to drive my car around to make sure it doesn't overheat anymore.
    Cop followed me as I turned around at the split, never was on the street. I started at the red star and ended up at the yellow star following the purple path. The cop got out of his vehicle and walked up to my window. His emergency strobes were NOT on. He asked for my ID and I gave it to him than told him that he had to leave afterwards as he was on private property.
    He said that he had a complaint of suspicious activity at 2336 Main St. I was high and didn't realize that he told me the wrong address till later when my girlfriend mention it. He also wrote down 2336 Main St on the ticket. My shop's address is 2440. There is clearly a mailbox to the left of the drive way that has the correct address on it.

    He pulled me out of the car to do a sobriety test as I told him I had a beer about 20 mins ago (even though it was an hour, I was very nervous about the weed). I passed the sobreity test and blew a 0.00. He than said he could smell weed on me and that he knows that I had smoked etc etc. This is where I made my biggest mistake. I gave him the weed (less than 2 grams), 2 bowls and 2 grinders. I was deathly affraid of getting arrested and I was high. You live and learn I guess.
    After I gave him the weed he searched my car even though I NEVER gave him permission too but I guess he had appropriate reason? He didn't find anything else.

    Basically, what are the chances this is going to be dropped since he unlawfully drove on my property?
    I will be getting a court appointed lawyer (college student budget) but I was wondering what everyones opinion was on this situation and if there should be anything to mention to the lawyer when I get one appointed to me. Also maybe past cases that will help mine.

    Thanks in advanced.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Sep 2005
    Location
    California
    Posts
    20,287

    Default Re: Caught With Drugs When Police Came to My Address by Mistake

    Life is not a game of tag where you are "home" free when you get onto your property. He followed you from the public roadway and made contact with you on publicly accessible property. Once he made contact and was able to smell the odor of alcohol and/or marijuana, he had all the cause he needed to investigate further - including an evaluation and a search of your vehicle.

    Since you admitted to smoking marijuana and even gave it up to him, I predict a plea deal in your future. This may be your chance to get counseling and get clean of drugs, so you might consider taking advantage of diversion if it is offered.
    **********
    Retired Cal Cop Sergeant & Teacher

    Seek justice,
    Love mercy,
    Walk humbly with your God

    -- Courageous, by Casting Crowns ... http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pkM-gDcmJeM

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Feb 2013
    Posts
    3

    Default Re: Caught With Drugs When Police Came to My Address by Mistake

    My tires never even came close to a public roadway though. I was at my shop from 8am to 1 am. Would that change your prediction?

    I just do not understand how a police officer can drive onto private property with no reason too. I am by no means saying that I didn't break the law or that I am ""home" free" but literally he had no reason/right to drive onto my property. No complaints, he definitely couldn't see me, no noise absolutely nothing. He didn't even have a reason to stop me or check my ID.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Sep 2005
    Location
    California
    Posts
    20,287

    Default Re: Caught With Drugs When Police Came to My Address by Mistake

    Quote Quoting jtnktz
    View Post
    My tires never even came close to a public roadway though. I was at my shop from 8am to 1 am. Would that change your prediction?
    Not really ... there was nothing unlawful about his contact. The property is publicly accessible and if anyone passing by could have walked up and said howdy, so can the officer.

    I just do not understand how a police officer can drive onto private property with no reason too.
    He was in the area as a result of a call. He observed your car driving around the area and decided to make contact. He did not affect a detention through the use of emergeny lights, he made contact when you had stopped - as ANYONE could have. Since anyone could have made such a contact, so can the officer. And once he made that contact and smelled the marijuana - and the alcohol - he was more than justified to proceed further.

    I am by no means saying that I didn't break the law or that I am ""home" free" but literally he had no reason/right to drive onto my property. No complaints, he definitely couldn't see me, no noise absolutely nothing. He didn't even have a reason to stop me or check my ID.
    You said he had a call of suspicious activity in the area. And, since these shops seem to be publicly accessible and not locked away behind fences and gates, there seems to be no reason the officer could not wander onto these commercial properties. In fact, I strongly suspect that the majority of the property owners rather approve of the police patrolling their property.

    In any event, so far you have stated nothing to indicate that the contact was unlawful. You can discuss your best option with your attorney, but as I mentioned, I suspect diversion and drug counseling/testing/rehab are in your future.
    **********
    Retired Cal Cop Sergeant & Teacher

    Seek justice,
    Love mercy,
    Walk humbly with your God

    -- Courageous, by Casting Crowns ... http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pkM-gDcmJeM

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Feb 2013
    Posts
    3

    Default Re: Caught With Drugs When Police Came to My Address by Mistake

    I asked him if I was being withheld and he told me to stay put. He told me no but he did say I could not get out of my vehicle.

    The property is publicly accessible and if anyone passing by could have walked up and said howdy, so can the officer.
    There are "no trespassing" signs. Therefor the public cannot enter the property. I tell people all the time they have to leave, it's my property I have the right too.

    He was in the area as a result of a call. He observed your car driving around the area and decided to make contact.
    This makes no sense to me at all. Around the area? My shop is easily more than a quarter mile down from 2336. I honestly feel targeted for some reason. However, am I able to supena (sp?) the complaint? Cause I doubt there was even a complaint.


    I am just trying to understand my rights better because these officers really did walk all over me. They made my gf and I stand in 10 degree weather when we were in T-shirts and wouldn't let us even get our jackets. Even though we both were completely cooperative.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Sep 2005
    Location
    California
    Posts
    20,287

    Default Re: Caught With Drugs When Police Came to My Address by Mistake

    Quote Quoting jtnktz
    View Post
    I asked him if I was being withheld and he told me to stay put. He told me no but he did say I could not get out of my vehicle.
    Once he made contact and smelled dope or alcohol (or observed the symptoms), he had the right to investigate further.

    There are "no trespassing" signs. Therefor the public cannot enter the property. I tell people all the time they have to leave, it's my property I have the right too.
    Next time, build a fence. You can go ahead and give your attorney direction to run with this, but it won't fly.

    This makes no sense to me at all. Around the area? My shop is easily more than a quarter mile down from 2336. I honestly feel targeted for some reason. However, am I able to supena (sp?) the complaint? Cause I doubt there was even a complaint.
    Heck, even if there was no complaint, the police are generally free to patrol areas open to the public - especially if on a commercial property. If you truly do not want the police in the area, erect a fence. Oh, and I suppose you'd have to get all the other owners of the property to agree that the police are to be kept out.

    If you want so smoke dope, stay inside your private property with the door closed and you would not have been in this situation.

    However, feel free to notify the police department that you do not wish them to patrol on your property, that you will be erecting a fence with the other property owners, and that if they should find any thieves on your property that you and your fellow property owners want them released.

    At this point, about all you can do is consult with your attorney regarding your options. I strongly suspect that diversion is in your future. Consider an opportunity and a wake up call to straighten things out before they get worse.
    **********
    Retired Cal Cop Sergeant & Teacher

    Seek justice,
    Love mercy,
    Walk humbly with your God

    -- Courageous, by Casting Crowns ... http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pkM-gDcmJeM

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