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jamest, Private Investigator
Category: Criminal Law
Satisfied Customers: 372
Experience:  Investigator of criminal law cases, especially Florida law. Work with retailers, others, consultant
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About a year ago, there was a shooting. I didnt see ...

Customer Question

About a year ago, there was a shooting. I didn''t see the shooting or anything, but I did hear the gun shots and called 911. And the officer and prosecutor have been harassing me about being a witness, and even told my mom if I didn''t call them, they would issue a warranty for my arrest. I didn''t understand why they needed me so much, I had nothing to do with the shooting or even saw what happened. So yesterday I meet with the detective, come to find out, my phone had made calls to the shooter that night, about 6, one of which shows we talked for 62 seconds. What the detective kept saying is, maybe I was calling him to buy drugs, which to be honest, may have been possivle, as I would smoke pot from time to time back then. The problem I''m having is remembering that night, and I don''t know who this shooter is. I am just curious what can happen to me, what if I can''t remember exactly? And if I was going to buy pot, would I get in trouble for that now?
Submitted: 9 years ago.
Category: Criminal Law
Expert:  jamest replied 9 years ago.
Hey, good day!
If you go to court and tell the truth you really have very little to worry about. You say it was a year ago.
The crime you committed would be:
RCW 69.50.407
Any person who attempts or conspires to commit any offense defined in this chapter is punishable by imprisonment or fine or both which may not exceed the maximum punishment prescribed for the offense, the commission of which was the object of the attempt or conspiracy.

to commit assuming you were just buying a small amount.

RCW 69.50.4014
Possession of forty grams or less of marihuana — Penalty.

Except as provided in RCW 69.50.401(2)(c), any person found guilty of possession of forty grams or less of marihuana is guilty of a misdemeanor.

RCW 9A.04.080
Limitation of actions.
(j) No misdemeanor may be prosecuted more than one year after its commission.


even if they did prosecute you for the drug charge, and were convicted, the sentencing range is Minimum of 1 Day in jail - maximum 90 days and a fine of $250 - $500. $250 is the minimum fine.

IF you go to court and testify truthfully, and you dont know anything about the shooting, the absolute worse that could happen is above, if the limitations has not ran out or if they are even able ot get a conviction.

Hope I was able to help. Good luck with the case,
Customer: replied 9 years ago.
Reply to jamest's Post: What if it turns out it was actually Feb 7th, 2007?

They keep asking me how I got his number, but I honestly don't remember, it was so long ago.

Also, what drugs are included, beyond pot?
Customer: replied 9 years ago.
Reply to jamest's Post: What if it turns out it was actually Feb 7th, 2007?

They keep asking me how I got his number, but I honestly don't remember, it was so long ago.

They keep asking if I know him, but I don't recognize him, and if he will recognize me. (They say they are going to try and discredit me as a witness, but a witness in what, I am not sure.)

They said they want to record my statement, and that they will say on the recorder that they are not looking to charge me for any crime, and I asked if I should bring a lawyer, and they said it is not necessary.

Also, what drugs are included, beyond pot?
Expert:  jamest replied 9 years ago.
I really do not think the police are concerned with your involvement in a conspiracy to purchase a controlled substance. In a criminal case everything relevant may be presented. your phone call could place the suspect in a particular area, and show he was there with unlawful intent. Their word on tape not to charge you is not valid, police can lie to you in certain ways to trick you into waiving a right. I would request a signed document from the state attorney which explicitly states they are granting you immunity from prosecution for any crime you may admit to concerning an illegal controlled substance transaction or any intent or conspiracy to violate any laws concerning controlled substances. I really do not think the police would spend this time trying to get you on a drug charge. However you must be mindful that your phone is connected and they can force you to testify, you could evoke your 5th amendment right to not answer any questions concerning your violation of law, but the defense would have a field day with that on cross examination, which would make the prosecutor a little upset. you have absolutely nothing to lose by having an attorney present to make sure the document is in good legal order, and to make sure you are not tricked into waiving any right you may not even know you had. They will always say it is not necessary. They are very good at playing word games and mind games with people and getting them to confess without even knowing it. Most likely they just want to know what you will say if called to testify.
I would tell the police you want to help, and you appreciate their offer to state on the record that they are not trying to charge you. However you are aware that it is not their determination who gets prosecuted, and you would need an agreement from the state attorney before waiving your 5th amendment right against self incrimination. If they want to know what you know that bad, they can accomplish this. If you can afford to hire an attorney, I would. Other drugs are usually felonies and i would not mention that, as you don't even remember the call, but at the time you did occasionally use pot, and that would be the only reason for the call. Don't mention other drugs, it is irrelevant to what they need to know. If they say they need your statement first before they talk to the district attorney about immunity, or that it isn't necessary, inform them you will use your 5th amendment right to remain silent and not speaks to them, and if called to testify, you would also do the same and use your right not to incriminate yourself. The only evidence you committed a crime can come from you, the phone call itself is not proof of what was spoken, and to convict they would have to prove it was related to drugs without your admission, which would be hard to do.
If you take the 5th your useless to them and you protect yourself. There is no prof you personally made the phone call or relieved it, for all you know santa clause could have made that call. You said they claimed they would get a warrant, if it is in relation to this case it would most likely be an obstruction of justice warrant. This is because if your not incriminating you self and you appear to be a material witness and you are hindering their investigation, it could constitute obstruction of justice, but your 5th amendment right against self incrimination trumps that. If there are other matters for which they could get a warrant for, then the situation is a bit more difficult as then they have leverage. If they use that leverage and you are worried, make a statement, but as of that point you know of no other drug besides pot, and you have never seen anything larger than 40 grams. If you get immunity from any violation concerning controlled substances, from the state attorney, it is important you truthfully answer because a lie at that point may nullify the agreement and they might be able to use your word against you. I still don't think they are worried about your drug use a year ago, but i cant say for sure, it's hard to say over the computer without talking to the police or knowing more about the incident.