How JustAnswer Works:

  • Ask an Expert
    Experts are full of valuable knowledge and are ready to help with any question. Credentials confirmed by a Fortune 500 verification firm.
  • Get a Professional Answer
    Via email, text message, or notification as you wait on our site.
    Ask follow up questions if you need to.
  • 100% Satisfaction Guarantee
    Rate the answer you receive.

Ask Zoey_ JD Your Own Question

Zoey_ JD
Zoey_ JD, JustAnswer Criminal Law Mentor
Category: Criminal Law
Satisfied Customers: 16107
Experience:  Admitted to NYS Criminal defense bar in 1989. Extensive arraignment, hearing, trial experience.
Type Your Criminal Law Question Here...
Zoey_ JD is online now
A new question is answered every 9 seconds

I GOT PULLED OVER FOR DRIVING ERRATICALLY, WAS DOING SO BECAUSE

Resolved Question:

I GOT PULLED OVER FOR DRIVING ERRATICALLY, WAS DOING SO BECAUSE MY TOM TOM KEPT FALLING OFF ITS HOLDER AND FALLING ON THE PASSENGERS SIDE, AND I KEPT LEANING OVER TO PICK IT UP OFF THE PASSENGER SIDE FLOOR. I NEEDED IT FOR I WAS GOING TO DAYTON OHIO FOR THE WEEKEND AND NEEDED THE DIRECTIONS TO GET WHERE I WAS GOING TO. THE OFFICER ASKED IF I HAD BEEN DRINKING AND I ANSWERED NO. I TRIED EXPLAINING TO HIM ABOUT THE TOM TOM FALLING ON THE PASSENGER SIDE FLOOR AND DUMMY ME TRYING TO LEAN OVER AND PICK IT UP. HE ASKED FOR MY LISCENSE, REG. ETC. ETC. I GAVE HIM MY DRIVERS LISCENSE AND REGISTRATION AND PROOF OF INSURANCE. I MUST MENTION THAT I WAS ON MY WAY OUT OF TOWN FOR THE WEEKEND, I HAD ALL MY BELONGINGS PACKED FOR I WAS GOING TO BE GONE FOR 3 DAYS. THE OFFICER ASKED ME TO GET OUT OF MY VEHICLE AND STAND BEHIND IT WHILE HE WENT TO HIS CAR AND DID HIS THING. HE CAME BACK AND TOLD ME MY LISCENSE WAS SUSPENDED. I HAD NO CLUE OF THIS. I HAD AN ACCIDENT AWHILE BACK AND THE BMV SENT ME A LETTER AND SAID I NEEDED TO SEND IN A SR 50 TO THEM FROM MY INSURANCE COMPANY FOR PROOF OF INSURANCE. I TOLD MY HUSBAND AND HE SAID HE WOULD TAKE CARE OF IT. THAT IS THE LAST I EVEN THOUGHT ABOUT MY LISCENSE AND THE STATUS OF IT. I EXPLAINED ALL OF THAT TO HIM. THEN HIS CONVERSATION WENT BACK TO WHY I WAS DRIVING ERRATICALLY, AND I AGAIN EXPLAINED WHY. I TOLD HIM I WOULD TAKE A BREATH ALYZER BECAUSE I KNEW I HAD NOT CONSUMED ALCOHOL AND WANTED TO PROVE THIS TO HIM. SO I DID. HE DID NOT TELL ME THE RESULT. THEN HE ASKED IF I TOOK ANY MEDICATIONS. I SAID YES. HE ASKED WHAT I HAD TAKEN THAT DAY. I TOLD HIM SUBOXONE IN THE AM AND A 0.5 XANAX, WHICH WERE PRESCRIBED TO ME. I TOLD HIM I TAKE OTHER MEDS BUT I TAKE THOSE AT NIGHT. HE ASKED IF HE COULD SEE THEM. (THE TWO I HAD TAKEN THAT MORNING) I WENT AND GOT THEM, HE OPENED THEM UP AND LOOKED. MY SUBOXONE PRESCRIPTION BOTTLE HAD LIKE 7 0R 8 OF THEM IN THERE, BUT WHEN I WAS PACKING I PUT SOME OF THE OTHER MEDS I TAKE AT NIGHT IN THERE WITH THEM,(LORAZAPAM)(ATIVAN) I WAS BASICALLY CONDENSING THEM SO I WOULDNT HAVE TO TAKE SO MANY CONTAINERS. HE THEN ASKED ME TO TELL HIM ALL THE MEDS I TAKE AND I DID MY BEST, XXXXX XXXXX SAID HE COULD GO BACK TO HIS CAR AND VERIFY EVERYTHING I SAID TO HIM, AND WAS I SURE I WASNT LYING. I SAID NO, BECAUSE EVERYTHING I HAD WAS PRESCRIBED TO ME. HE THEN CAME BACK AND ASKED ME ABOUT LORZAPAM (?) AND I SAID, OH YEAH, I FORGOT ABOUT THAT ONE. THOSE PILLS HAPPENED TO BE THE PILLS I HAD PUT INTO MY SUBOXONE BOTTLE WHEN I WAS PACKING, SO I DIDN'T ACTUALLY HAVE A PRESCRIBED BOTTLE FOR THOSE. HE THEN TOLD ME TO TURN AROUND, I DID, AND HE HANCUFFED ME AND TOLD ME I WAS UNDER ARREST FOR POSSESSION OF A CONTROLLED SUBSTANCE. HE DID NOT READ ME MY MIRANDA RIGHTS. HE THEN PRECEDED TO SEARCH ALL OF MY LUGGAGE. HE TOOK OUT THE BAG OF MY OTHER MEDS THAT I TAKE AT NIGHT WHICH WERE ALL CLEARLY LABELED WITH MY NAME ETC ETC.OUT OF MY LUGGAGE HE PUT ME IN HIS CAR AND TOOK ME TO JAIL. I WENT THROUGH ALL THAT U HAVE TO GO THRU. I WAS ABLE TO PAY THE BAIL OR WHATEVER U CALL IT. THEY TOLD ME MY VEHICLE WITH ALL OF MY STUFF WAS TOWED TO SOMEWHERE. THE OFFICER WHO PROCESSED ME CALLED MY HUSBAND FOR ME TO COME AND GET ME, WHICH WAS 2 AND A HALF HOURS AWAY. THE OFFICER WHO HAD ARRESTED ME HAD LONG AGO LEFT. I KEPT TELLING THE OFFICER WHO PROCESSED ME THAT I NEEDED MY MEDICINE HE TOLD ME TO GO WAIT IN THE LOBBY FOR MY HUSBAND AND HE WOULD WORK ON GETTING MY MEDS. I NEED MY MEDS BECAUSE I HAVE ULCERATIVE COLITIS, A VERY PAINFUL AND EXTREMELY UNCOMFORTABLE CONDITION WHEN I DONT TAKE MY MEDICINE. BY THE TIMEMY HUSBAND GOT THERE IT WAS LATE FRIDAY NIGHT AROUND 10:00 PM. I NEVER HEARD BACK FROM THE OFFICER SO I WENT TO THE WINDOW AND THEY HAD A PHONE U HAD TO PICK UP TO TALK TO SOMEONE. WE THEN WERE TOLD THE ARRESSTING OFFICER WAS GONE OFF DUTY, AND THE OFFICER WHO PROCESSED ME AND HAD TOLD ME HE WOULD GET MY MEDS FOR ME WAS ALSO GONE, OFF DUTY. WE ALSO FOUND OUT THE PLACE WHERE THEY TOWED MY VEHICLE WITH ALL MY STUFF IN IT WAS CLOSED AND WOULD NOT BE OPEN UNTIL MONDAY, MAY 2ND. I KNOW THIS IS A LONG EXPLANATION AND MY QUESTION IS: DID THEY HAVE THE RIGHT TO DO WHAT THEY DID?? I HAVE NOT HAD MY MEDS SINCE THURSDAY NIGHT. IAM NOT FEELING WELL, AND I FEEL LIKE EVERY ONE OF MY RIGHTS WAS VIOLATED, I KNOW I WAS IN THE WRONG FOR THE SUSPENDED LISCENSE, BUT EVERYTHING ELSE THAT HAPPENED JUST DOES NOT SEEM OR FEEL RIGHT TO ME. AS FAR AS THE MEDS WERE CONCERNED THEY WERE ALL PRESCRIBED TO ME AND THE ONLY MISTAKE I THINK I MADE WAS PUTTING THE 2 IN THE SAME BOTTLE, CONDENSING THEM. LET ME ALSO TELL U I AM 45 YEARS OLD AND HAVE NEVER BEEN IN TROUBLE, NOT EVEN A PARKING TICKET. THIS IS MY FIRST TIME IN 45 YEARS AND IT IS THE MOST AWFULEST (I KNOW ITS NOT A WORD) FEELING IN THE WORLD. PLEASE TELL ME WHAT I NEED TO DO AND ALSO WAS I TREATED RIGHT ????
Submitted: 3 years ago.
Category: Criminal Law
Expert:  Zoey_ JD replied 3 years ago.
Hello Jacustomer,

The first thing you need to do is to retain a criminal lawyer. Make sure you show him valid prescriptions for all of the medication. He ought to be able to make the drug possession charges go away. You will still have to deal with the driving on a suspended license issue and possibly even a driving under the influence of drugs charge. Though if they did not do you a blood test, the breathalyzer results will probably not show anything and all they would have was the word of the officer and the fact that you do take prescribed medication.

As to whether the seizure of your medications was proper or not, if the drug charge are dismissed, you'll likely never need to find that out. You do have issues, but basically, the US Supreme Court has ruled that there is no bright line test as to what is and isn't Constitutional. These must all be determined on a case by case basis at pre-trial suppression hearings. The test the court must apply is what a reasonable police officer would do under all of the circumstances.

To stop a car, an officer just needs a reasonable(articulable) suspicion that some criminal activity may be taking place. It must be something more than a hunch, but it only has to be something that the officer can put into words. In your particular case,the officer told you that he stopped you for erratic driving and you concede that you were having difficulty securing your Tom which kept falling, and that you actually were driving eratically while you were picking it up.

That enables the officer to ask you for your ID and tell you to get out of the car, to pat you down for safety, and detain you for a brief time. As the police go through each of these steps, depending on what else they witness they could end up with probable cause to dig deeper.

The officer had already discovered that your license was suspended and after seeing the results of the breathalyzer inquired about drug use. Because you admitted to taking medication, He asked you to show him that, which you did. The unlabeled drugs (and for that matter the suspension) enabled him to arrest you, which he did.

To search your vehicle, he would need either to have a warrant or an exception to warrant requirement. In this case, the officer would likely claim that he was searching incident to the arrest he'd already made, which would be an exception to the warrant requirement. Miranda warnings are to be read prior to post arrest interrogations. If you were never interrogated after this arrest, Miranda would not apply. And lack of MIranda warnings will not get a case dismissed. It will merely keep any statement or confession you may have made from coming in as evidence to be used at trial against you.

Again, none of this may be an issue, if your lawyer can get the drug matter dismissed and if the DUI is never charged. But should the prosecutor not agree to dismiss the one and should they also bring the other if you want to go to trial on these cases you will be able to get a pre-trial hearing to examine whether or not the conduct of the police was sufficient to violate your Constitutional rights and whether the drugs or any statements you made to the police should be suppressed and kept out of your trial.

If you cannot afford an attorney, just plead not guilty at your arraignment and ask the court for a public defender.
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

I NEED TO KNOW IF I WILL GET MY MEDS BACK IF I SHOW PROOF WHEN I GO TO COURT TOMORROW, AND ALSO WHAT EXACTLY IS GOING TO HAPPEN TOMORROW IN COURT??

Expert:  Zoey_ JD replied 3 years ago.
Hello,

Sorry for the delay. I have just finished my dinner. I'll type up the answer to your follow up and have it for you shortly.
Customer: replied 3 years ago.
ALSO MAY I TELL U THAT ON THE BAIL PAYMENT RECEIPT WHERE IT SAYS OFFENSE: IT JUST SAYS" POSSESSION OF CONTROLLED SUBSTANCE" IT SAYS NOTHING ABOUT MY LISCENSE. DOES THAT MEAN I WAS NOT CHARGED FOR THAT ?????
Expert:  Zoey_ JD replied 3 years ago.
Helllo again,

1) Your first court date should be your arraignment. That is, you will come before the judge who will read the charges against you into the record and ask you how you plead. The only answer to this is NOT GUILTY. That's the only plea that will keep all of a defendant's rights open to you. If you have a lawyer, your lawyer will tell you what to do next and he can try to get at least some of your medication back. If you don't have a lawyer you will ask for an adjournment to get a lawyer or (if you can't afford one) to have the judge appoint a public defender for you.

2) The charges may or may not be just what is on your receipt. Police are not lawyers. They write up what they think they've got and then they turn the case over to the prosecutor for the filing of charges. Once the prosecutor looks at the reports and hears what the officer has to say, he may change the charges, add charges, subtract charges. It all depends on what he thinks he's likely to be able to prove beyond a reasonable doubt with the evidence he's got. Most of the time, what the police write you up for is what you're facing; however don't be surprised if the driving offense shows up..

3) Right now your drugs are being held for evidence. The prosecutor would have to agree to release them, and they don't have to do that. They can hold them until the case is over. That's one of the reasons you need to have a lawyer involved, tomorrow if you somehow can. If you have your prescriptions, your lawyer could show them to the prosecutor and could potentially get this matter dismissed. Without a lawyer, you might be able to do that for yourself as well, but in many jurisdictions prosecutors will not talk to unrepresented defendants, so you might not be able to help yourself. And criminal court is not like what you see on television court shows where you walk in and tell your story. Far from it. You have a constitutional right to remain silent and not to incriminate yourself, and if you are unrepresented, the judge may not let you say a word.

So as to your medications, you may just have to explain to your doctor and pharmacist what happened to your medications and to see what they could do for you so that you can tend to your health issues.
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

IF I CANT GET A LAWYER FOR TOMORROW , AND I ASK FOR A PUBLIC DEFENDER BECAUSE I SURELY CANNOT AFFORD ONE, WILL THAT AUTOMATICALLY HAPPEN, OR DO THEY SAY OK AND DO I GET ANOTHER DATE TO GO BACK FOR ARRAIGNMENT, BASICALLY WILL THERE BE A PUBLIC DEFENDER THERE TOMORROW FOR ME , IMMEDIATELY, SO ALL THIS NONSENSE ABOUT MY MEDS CAN BE CLEARED UP TOMORROW ??? ALSO I DONT UNDERSTAND WHY THEY TOOK ALL MY MEDICINE , ALL THE ONES THAT WERE PROPERLY MARKED??? , FOR EVIDENCE ???? WHY NOT JUST TAKE THE BOTTLE THAT HAD THE MIXED MEDS IN THEM?? THIS IS SO FRUSTRATING TO ME.

Expert:  Zoey_ JD replied 3 years ago.
Hi,

I don't know why the officer took all of your medications. Maybe he wanted to check for other potential issues: forged prescriptions, doctor shopping. Or maybe he wanted the lab to confirm that what was in the bottles matched what was prescribed. I'm just guessing. However, if all's as it should be, I would hope that the prosecutor would agree to at least give you what's clearly legal back tomorrow.

Generally, there wouldn't be a public defender available for you tomorrow. He would have to be assigned. If you ask for a public defender the judge will adjourn the case and you'll have one waiting for you on your next date. However, if you can document all of your prescriptions, have that with you tomorrow, just in case the prosecutor will be willing to talk to you and release, at least what was properly marked.
Zoey_ JD, JustAnswer Criminal Law Mentor
Category: Criminal Law
Satisfied Customers: 16107
Experience: Admitted to NYS Criminal defense bar in 1989. Extensive arraignment, hearing, trial experience.
Zoey_ JD and 5 other Criminal Law Specialists are ready to help you

JustAnswer in the News:

 
 
 
Ask-a-doc Web sites: If you've got a quick question, you can try to get an answer from sites that say they have various specialists on hand to give quick answers... Justanswer.com.
JustAnswer.com...has seen a spike since October in legal questions from readers about layoffs, unemployment and severance.
Web sites like justanswer.com/legal
...leave nothing to chance.
Traffic on JustAnswer rose 14 percent...and had nearly 400,000 page views in 30 days...inquiries related to stress, high blood pressure, drinking and heart pain jumped 33 percent.
Tory Johnson, GMA Workplace Contributor, discusses work-from-home jobs, such as JustAnswer in which verified Experts answer people’s questions.
I will tell you that...the things you have to go through to be an Expert are quite rigorous.
 
 
 

What Customers are Saying:

 
 
 
  • Your Expert advise has provided insight on a difficult situation. Thank you so much for the prompt response. I will definitely recommend your website to my friends. Norma Pensacola, FL
< Last | Next >
  • Your Expert advise has provided insight on a difficult situation. Thank you so much for the prompt response. I will definitely recommend your website to my friends. Norma Pensacola, FL
  • Mr. Kaplun clearly had an exceptional understanding of the issue and was able to explain it concisely. I would recommend JustAnswer to anyone. Great service that lives up to its promises! Gary B. Edmond, OK
  • My Expert was fast and seemed to have the answer to my taser question at the tips of her fingers. Communication was excellent. I left feeling confident in her answer. Eric Redwood City, CA
  • I am very pleased with JustAnswer as a place to go for divorce or criminal law knowledge and insight. Michael Wichita, KS
  • PaulMJD helped me with questions I had regarding an urgent legal matter. His answers were excellent. Three H. Houston, TX
  • Anne was extremely helpful. Her information put me in the right direction for action that kept me legal, possible saving me a ton of money in the future. Thank you again, Anne!! Elaine Atlanta, GA
  • It worked great. I had the facts and I presented them to my ex-landlord and she folded and returned my deposit. The 50 bucks I spent with you solved my problem. Tony Apopka, FL
 
 
 

Meet The Experts:

 
 
 
  • Fran L.

    JustAnswer Criminal Law Mentor

    Satisfied Customers:

    8061
    18 yrs of NYC public defense. Extensive arraignment, hearing, trial experience.
< Last | Next >
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/RE/retiredlawyer/2012-6-6_19326_franL.64x64.jpg Fran L.'s Avatar

    Fran L.

    JustAnswer Criminal Law Mentor

    Satisfied Customers:

    8061
    18 yrs of NYC public defense. Extensive arraignment, hearing, trial experience.
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/RA/ratioscripta/2012-6-13_2955_foto3.64x64.jpg Ely's Avatar

    Ely

    Counselor at Law

    Satisfied Customers:

    2079
    Private practice with focus on family, criminal, PI, consumer protection, and business consultation.
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/NA/nathanmoorelaw/2011-5-31_21375_headshotbig.64x64.jpg Nate's Avatar

    Nate

    Lawyer

    Satisfied Customers:

    1625
    Over 10 years of criminal defense practice.
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/LA/LawTalk/2012-6-6_17379_LawTalk.64x64.JPG LawTalk's Avatar

    LawTalk

    Lawyer

    Satisfied Customers:

    1434
    30 years legal experience
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/PH/philip.simmons/2012-6-7_161915_BIGPhilipSimmons.64x64.jpg P. Simmons's Avatar

    P. Simmons

    Lawyer

    Satisfied Customers:

    1418
    16 yrs. of experience including criminal law.
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/marshadjd/2009-6-1_194320_marshajd.jpg Marsha411JD's Avatar

    Marsha411JD

    Lawyer

    Satisfied Customers:

    1380
    Licensed attorney with 27 yrs. exp. in criminal law
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/RO/RobertJDFL/2012-6-6_175352_7538220120606.64x64.jpg RobertJDFL's Avatar

    RobertJDFL

    Lawyer

    Satisfied Customers:

    1300
    Experienced in multiple areas of the law.