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Zoey_ JD
Zoey_ JD, JustAnswer Criminal Law Mentor
Category: Criminal Law
Satisfied Customers: 16344
Experience:  Admitted to NYS Criminal defense bar in 1989. Extensive arraignment, hearing, trial experience.
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If the police found a gun and some money in your home, they

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If the police found a gun and some money in your home, they took you down to the station for questioning. They didn't charge you. They find out you associate with people that they are after. Now they start harassing you. Is any of this legal. If they didn't charge you with a crime when they had you in custody. Do they have a right to harass you when ever they feel like it.
Submitted: 9 months ago.
Category: Criminal Law
Expert:  Zoey_ JD replied 9 months ago.
Hello,

My name is XXXXX XXXXX I am an experienced criminal lawyer.

Police are allowed to take you in if they have probable cause to believe you might be involved in a crime. Probable cause needs only a very low standard of evidence, so it's arguable that, depending upon the facts and circumstances, the presence of a gun and cash in an amount not usually left lying around the house might be enough to justify the detention.

From there, if they read you your rights before interrogation and didn't detain you longer than it took for them to figure out that you committed no crimes, their behavior would be lawful.

That doesn't mean that they have the right to harass you therafter, whenever they feel like it. That is something that does violate your civil rights, and you can file complaints and have the officer and his policies investigated. You can report him to his superiors, file another with Internal Affairs and still another with the State Attorney General's Office, citing a course of police harassment when you are a law-abiding citizen.

If the investigation confirms your allegations, the officer can be sanctioned, even suspended and you can make the officer's life at least as uncomfortable as he's making yours. Send a copy of the reports to the ACLU. While they have too much on their plate to take on individual matters, they are a powerful advocacy force in the area of civil rights. If they get enough reports to see that a particular police force has a pattern of violating the rights of its citizens, they can and do take on the job of bringing them to court for it.
Customer: replied 9 months ago.

Even though the gun was not a registered gun. And the money was a family members. I'm Liable because it was at my place of residence. They let him go with no charges or anything. He has no record of any other crimes. Can he go back and charge him for having a gun in the house after he was let go. He was told if he doesn't give him any information on his friend. He would go back and charge him for that crime.

Expert:  Zoey_ JD replied 9 months ago.

Hi,

This is now a different story. The police are allowed to use coercive and manipulative techniques to get to the bottom of crime. The US Supreme Court has said that this is legal. So if they want to get your friend to tell them who owns the gun in trade for his not being prosecuted, they can do that.

Working for the police has its risks and so he should not do this unless it's something he wants. But yes, the police are entitled to bring charges against him later. Although many defendants are arrested at the time of the commission of the crime, many, for one reason or another, are not. The state actually has until the statute of limitations for the crime runs out before the case gets too old to be prosecuted. I don't know what state this is taking place in, but in general they'd have a couple of years to make the arrest.

If he's not interested in cooperating, he can call the police's bluff and see if they will charge him with possession of a firearm. If they do, he can retain counsel and fight the case if he wishes. As the gun was found in someone else's home, a good lawyer may be able to get a jury to have reasonable doubt as to whether the gun was really his.

Zoey_ JD, JustAnswer Criminal Law Mentor
Category: Criminal Law
Satisfied Customers: 16344
Experience: Admitted to NYS Criminal defense bar in 1989. Extensive arraignment, hearing, trial experience.
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