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Joseph
Joseph, Criminal Defense Lawyer
Category: Criminal Law
Satisfied Customers: 7279
Experience:  I have 15 years experience in criminal litigation including several years as a felony prosecutor
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A person was arrested on Oct 6th 2012. The Judge signed the

Customer Question

A person was arrested on Oct 6th 2012. The Judge signed the arrest warrant on Oct 3rd 2012. The complaint and affidavit was filed on Oct 5th 2012. They were arrested for Iowa code 124.401(4). For the reason that on 7-26-2012 the officer says he found 2 empty sudafed boxes and a receipt for lye in a garbage can at the hardware store dated 7-24-2012. When he traced the boxes he found that this person purchased the boxes at 1:55:06 2012. The NPLEX says the boxes where signed for at 13:55. The officer says this person was the closest person to that time to buy. And on video this was the same person who purchased the lye on 7-24-2012. The evidence bag shows a date entered of 8-1-2012. This person has no prior drug charges, A note from doctor saying she had a prescription but when lost health Ins. They should just buy the over the counter ones to save money. This is a felony charge, The way this charge reads to me is as if one was caught with them in their possession going to make drugs with this stuff. All they are going on are some receipts they found for items that are not illegal to purchase. How would they even get an arrest warrant for this? These items are not illegal to buy and this person was not caught with them in their possession. And how do they get an arrest warrant on the 3rd, and file the complaint and affidavit on the 5th? should there not be a complaint on file to get a warrant?
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Criminal Law
Expert:  Joseph replied 1 year ago.

You need to keep in mind that there is a significant difference between obtaining a warrant and obtaining a conviction. To obtain a warrant, an officer need only establish probable cause for criminal activity, this is a rather low burden. However, to obtain a conviction, the prosecuting attorney must establish the criminal conduct beyond every reasonable doubt, this is a much higher burden.

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While I certainly understand your concerns, I would suggest that the information you have provided would likely be considered probable cause and, as such, sufficient for a warrant. Having said that, I would also suggest that this would not be sufficient to lead to an actual conviction.

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Joseph, Criminal Defense Lawyer
Category: Criminal Law
Satisfied Customers: 7279
Experience: I have 15 years experience in criminal litigation including several years as a felony prosecutor
Joseph and 13 other Criminal Law Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 1 year ago.

Is it normal that a arrest warrant is obtained before the complaint and affidavit are filed? And normal that what they say found is held onto for a week before entered into evidence? And also this doesn't sound like the felony charge is correct either since they were never caught with anything.

Expert:  Joseph replied 1 year ago.

I don't know that I would call those things "normal" exactly. However, I also wouldn't consider them to be terribly unusual. While I obviously can't know exactly what took place here, my speculation would be that the officer did things in a lawful manner and any dates that appear amiss are due to bookkeeping matters. Meaning, it was simply a matter of how things were filed, not any legal issues on the part of law enforcement.

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So you know, I was a prosecuting attorney for about three years or so and I've been doing defense work for over a decade. I say this so you know that my opinion does not come from being solely a prosecutor (i.e. pro law enforcement), but from having been on both sides of the judicial aisle. While I am well aware that cops get things wrong, they sometimes lie and they occasionally act in an unlawful manner, they typically do things in a lawful and appropriate way.

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As to the possession charge, people often think that to possess something, it must be on their person, such as in their hands or in their pockets. However, possession is defined much more broadly than that. For example, something can be in your house, car or suitcase and you could be in possession of that item. In short, the possession charge here could be legally viable. Again though, as stated above, it seems like a weak case.

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I hope you found my answer helpful. If so, please click on "OK", "Good" or "Excellent" service. This is necessary for me to be paid for my work and so that I can get credit for assisting you. Even if you are a subscription member, you will need to click on one of the positive indicators. Your question will not close, and you will still have the opportunity to follow-up if needed.
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If you are not yet satisfied with my answer, please do not yet rate my service. Instead, please click on the "Reply to Expert" and let me know what else I can do for you. Please only rate my answer when you are fully satisfied.
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Also, several customers have asked how they may direct a question to me in particular. If you specifically want me to assist you in your legal matter, just put "FOR JOSEPH" in the subject line and I will gladly pick up the question as soon as I am on-line.
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Leaving a bonus is not required but doing so is certainly appreciated! Thank you and good luck.

Customer: replied 1 year ago.

I guess where I feel bad is that this person lives with me. She also has health problems which causes her to lose her hair. She washes it in my kitchen sink. She plugged my sink and I asked her to pick up the drain cleaner for me. I paid for it and she brought me the receipt with my change from a $10 bill. The officer said he found the receipt in the garbage. Not possible. So we asked to see it through the discovery. County attorney said they are not using it as evidence so They don't have to produce it. Of coarse they aren't, he never found it. Said he did to get arrest warrant. Like we know, cops lie and not much one can do about it. These days you are guilty until you prove other wise. Won't be long and we won't even get a chance to do that. It will be guilty and that is it. I am glad I have no children. I would feel bad for them to have to live in this world today let alone 10 yrs from now.

Expert:  Joseph replied 1 year ago.
Trust me, I understand the dilemma. I wish you and your friend the best of luck and, of course, please feel free to return if you need anything in the future.

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