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Joseph, Attorney
Category: Legal
Satisfied Customers: 7280
Experience:  I have 15 years experience in the legal field, currently specializing in criminal and family law
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We live in a small town. My stepson just moved in with us

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We live in a small town. My stepson just moved in with us so he can go to college. He started dating the sheriff's daughter and when the sheriff found out he said " I put punks like him in jail every day." Our son has multiple facial piercing and a couple of tattoos. He has never been in trouble with the law, he doesn't drink or do drugs and the only ticket he's ever gotten was for no seatbelt! They are no longer dating. Just today he was driving through town (he doesn't know the streets well) and started to turn, realized he was on the wrong street and swerved back onto the road. The sheriff happened to be behind him and obviously pulled him over. When he found out his name he immediately asked if there were drugs or alcohol in the vehicle and when our son said no he looked at the deputy and said "This isn't going to be professional". He then proceeded to search our car and our son. This seems like blatent discrimination to me. Do we ahve a case?
Submitted: 7 years ago.
Category: Legal
Expert:  Joseph replied 7 years ago.
I don't know that I'd use the word "discrimination" but it definitely sounds like harassment.

You said your stepson was dating the daughter of the sheriff. Do you mean THE sheriff or a deputy? If it's a deputy, then by all means complain to his superior officers. If it is the sheriff, then it becomes a bit more complicated.

If there is another local law enfocement agency, such as city police, you could notify them of the issue in an effort to be proactive as to any future problems. Similarly, you could discuss the matter with the prosecuting attorney in your area.

You could also contact an attorney in the area. You'd be looking for an attorney that handles civil litigation, especially regarding suits against law enforcement. Additionally, you may want to look for an attorney in a neighboring county. As you can imagine, an attorney in the county may not want to sue a local law enfocement agency.

As to searching your son or his car, law enforcement can only searh him or his car in limited circumstances. He could be searched if he is arrested or if there's reasonable suspicion of criminal activity. If he is simply stopped for a routine traffic violation, he can refuse to permit a search.

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Customer: replied 7 years ago.
It is THE sheriff. If we decide to find a lawyer, should we also file a personal complaint with the department?
Expert:  Joseph replied 7 years ago.
<p>Sorry to hear that! If you do retain an attorney to handle the matter, I would defer to his judgment as to how best to proceed. While Just Answer is a wonderful place to get some basic information, it is no substitute for an hour long face-to-face meeting with an attorney to thoroughly discuss the issues.</p><p> </p><p>Best of luck!</p>
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