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Dimitry Esquire
Dimitry Esquire, Attorney
Category: Criminal Law
Satisfied Customers: 41220
Experience:  I provide general practice and mediation & arbitration services to my clients.
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I was recently arrested for possession of Meth while I was

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I was recently arrested for possession of Meth while I was going to meet someone to party with (who I later found out was a major drug dealer) in Los Angeles County, CA. I was not read my miranda rights until after I was arrested and booked (fingerprints,etc). I had a about $400 of meth on me at the time. I have no prior criminal background; my record is clean. Also, I found out that the cops were tapping the phone of this drug dealer. When I got there and got out of my car, 6 cops pulled their guns and told me to put my hands on the car. Then asked me if I just hit another car and I said, "No." The cops then asked me if they could search my car and I also said, "No." But, the went ahead and did so. My questions are: Don't they have to read me my Miranda Rights before I am arrested? and How can they search my car without my permission? I have not been charged as of yet because they want me to be an informant and if I can get the police 3 dealers, I would be off the hook. What type of jail time would I be looking at with a clean record? David, L.A., CA

Thank you for your question.

I will do my best to assist you with your issue. While I am permitted to provide you with legal information, I am prohibited by JustAnswer.com as well as various state bar associations from giving specific legal advice, provide representation, or enter into an attorney-client relationship through this open and non-confidential forum. Do you understand and agree to these provisions as well as JustAnswer.com's disclaimer?

Sincerely,


Dimitry Alexander Kaplun, Esq.

Customer: replied 6 years ago.
Yes, I do.
Great, thank you very much for consenting.

As you have a few questions, I will answer them one by one to make sure I do not miss anything.

1. Miranda rights.
The police did nothing wrong here. Reading the miranda rights does not have to be done when you are being arrested--that is a myth perpetuated by popular TV shows. Your rights have to be read to you before you are being questioned and interrogated, not before you are being arrested.

2. Search of the vehicle.
That may or may not have been done with validity, and something you will have to provide more detail to you your PD if you get charged. Usually a warrant or permission is required to cehck the car, but not always. For example if the police found contraband on you, they may check the vehicle for weapons and other concealable items as you have already been found to carry a suspected substance. Also, if the police saw that under surveilance you placed items in the vehicle, they are free to search it.

3. Jail time.
This depends on the offense. Usually it gives you up to 1 year in jail as the maximum, but for a first offender it is almost always probation. This is the statute below:

(a) Except as authorized by law and as otherwise provided in
subdivision (b) or Section 11375, or in Article 7 (commencing with
Section 4211) of Chapter 9 of Division 2 of the Business and
Professions Code, every person who possesses any controlled substance
which is (1) classified in Schedule III, IV, or V, and which is not
a narcotic drug, (2) specified in subdivision (d) of Section 11054,
except paragraphs (13), (14), (15), and (20) of subdivision (d), (3)
specified in paragraph (11) of subdivision (c) of Section 11056, (4)
specified in paragraph (2) or (3) of subdivision (f) of Section
11054, or (5) specified in subdivision (d), (e), or (f) of Section
11055, unless upon the prescription of a physician, dentist,
podiatrist, or veterinarian, licensed to practice in this state,
shall be punished by imprisonment in a county jail for a period of
not more than one year or in the state prison.
(b) (1) Any person who violates subdivision (a) by unlawfully
possessing a controlled substance specified in subdivision (f) of
Section 11056, and who has not previously been convicted of a
violation involving a controlled substance specified in subdivision
(f) of Section 11056, is guilty of a misdemeanor.
(2) Any person who violates subdivision (a) by unlawfully
possessing a controlled substance specified in subdivision (g) of
Section 11056 is guilty of a misdemeanor.
(3) Any person who violates subdivision (a) by unlawfully
possessing a controlled substance specified in paragraph (7) or (8)
of subdivision (d) of Section 11055 is guilty of a misdemeanor.
(4) Any person who violates subdivision (a) by unlawfully
possessing a controlled substance specified in paragraph (8) of
subdivision (f) of Section 11057 is guilty of a misdemeanor.
(c) In addition to any fine assessed under subdivision (b), the
judge may assess a fine not to exceed seventy dollars ($70) against
any person who violates subdivision (a), with the proceeds of this
fine to be used in accordance with Section 1463.23 of the Penal Code.
The court shall, however, take into consideration the defendant's
ability to pay, and no defendant shall be denied probation because of
his or her inability to pay the fine permitted under this
subdivision.


Edited by Dimitry Alexander Kaplun on 9/4/2010 at 6:45 AM EST
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