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Zoey_ JD
Zoey_ JD, JustAnswer Criminal Law Mentor
Category: Criminal Law
Satisfied Customers: 23204
Experience:  Admitted to NYS Criminal defense bar in 1989. Extensive arraignment, hearing, trial experience.
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I was eating breakfast in an I-Hop restaurant at midnight.

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I was eating breakfast in an I-Hop restaurant at midnight. I was waiting for a friend to pick me up and fell asleep. I-Hop management call the police to have me arrested rather than waking me up. I had told the manager that some one was going to pick me up. Farmington Police officers woke me up and proceeded to charge me with a DWI, even though they had not observed me driving. As a result I spent 8 hours in jail. I was stripped nake and thrown in a cell with 8 inmates. The conditions were implorable and discusting. I feel that I-Hop and the City of Farmington should pay damages in the amount of $200,000 each. I am a respected citizen and a decorated Army Veteran. I thought we have a constitutionto live by. Is this country turned in to a Communist State where the Police are allowed to come in to public places to arrest you. Next they will be coming in to our houses and charging you with what ever they please.
Submitted: 5 years ago.
Category: Criminal Law
Expert:  Zoey_ JD replied 5 years ago.
Hello Jacustomer,

If you prevail in your criminal matter, then you could talk to a civil lawyer about a false arrest/malicious prosecution. However, like it or not, you have been charged with a criminal offense and that has to be your first priority because a conviction or a plea to anything at all to get rid of this would cut the legs off your civil suit. A conviction makes a false arrest "true" by definition.

I know you're angry, and I'm certainly not saying you should like what happened to you. But I don't expect that this case will be immediately dismissed just because you don't believe anyone had any right to arrest you. The state of New Mexico is entitled to prove otherwise. So not having heard their side of this story, I think you'd best be prepared to fight these charges, not emotionally, but with a lawyer who will not only protect your rights on this case but your civil matter elsewhere down the road. Because anything you say in court for yourself can be used against you in both courthouses, while what your lawyer says on your behalf generally can't.

You could file a complaint with internal affairs meanwhile to have the arresting officers investigated, another one with the brass at I-Hop corporate, and mention both in a complaint to your state attorney general's office, but as these reports also could contain admissions that can be used against you, you should not file them without showing them to your lawyer, who can tell you if they could hurt one or the other of your cases.

Your best bet would be to find an experienced litigator (trial lawyer) in general legal practice who knows his way around criminal and civil court. It would be best to have one lawyer for both matters so that the lawyers wouldn't step on each other's toes. If you had to go with a public defender, while he would be able to handle the DWI case, he would not be able to represent you on the civil side.
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