How JustAnswer Works:
  • Ask an Expert
    Experts are full of valuable knowledge and are ready to help with any question. Credentials confirmed by a Fortune 500 verification firm.
  • Get a Professional Answer
    Via email, text message, or notification as you wait on our site. Ask follow up questions if you need to.
  • 100% Satisfaction Guarantee
    Rate the answer you receive.
Ask Zoey_ JD Your Own Question
Zoey_ JD
Zoey_ JD, JustAnswer Criminal Law Mentor
Category: Criminal Law
Satisfied Customers: 27766
Experience:  Admitted to NYS Criminal defense bar in 1989. Extensive arraignment, hearing, trial experience.
Type Your Criminal Law Question Here...
Zoey_ JD is online now
A new question is answered every 9 seconds

my cousins went to jail for drugs and a gun .the police said

Customer Question

my cousins went to jail for drugs and a gun .the police said they were there to get ,a

guythat had been stolen. the person that stole the guy said he gave the guy to my cousin
the police approach the house they said we are looking for g and b ,thet ask are u g,she said no that is my sis,she doesnt live here,they went in the neighbors apt,when they came to the other apt the lady ask them for a search warrant, they didnt have one readily available ,police said we're here for the gun and went in the house as the lady contin to ask for searh warrant,one of the police came out of room holdingthe gun and said thats okay we got what we came for, the gun was sitting on top of the dresser,they ask who the gun was for, no one said ,so police said ok it's for the person who live here, b said how different people stay here, as this was going on,another officer said we need that or by tomorrow no case , at the same tim others police continue to search the apt ,one of them said the found crack in
Submitted: 7 years ago.
Category: Criminal Law
Expert:  Zoey_ JD replied 7 years ago.

I see the background here, but it is unfinished. Also, you need to ask a question so before I can try to provide you with an answer. What is it that you specifically want to know?
Customer: replied 7 years ago.
can you charge someone with being n possession or illegal carrying of aweapon n drugs when police got it from dresser,but the owner was of the house was not arrested
Expert:  Zoey_ JD replied 7 years ago.

The police do not have to arrest the owner of the house just because a gun and drugs were found on the premises, if they have probable cause to believe that the contraband was clearly in the custody and control of only one person living in the house.

As an example, if police entered a house and found a gun and drugs in plain view in the middle of a common area (like on the kitchen table, for example), then it would be reasonable for them to think that everyone who lived in the house was engaged in unlawful activities and they could all be charged under a theory of constructive possession. (Though that evidence wouldn't necessarily be enough to convict all of them of the charges).

If on the other hand, they found drugs and a gun in one resident's bedroom dresser, for example, then it would be reasonable for police to believe they had the owner, that he kept the contraband hidden away from the others somewhere in which he had an expectation of privacy, and that only one person needed to be arrested.

If I've helped, please click the green Accept button so I can get credit for my work.

This thread will not close and you can always use it to get clarification.This is informational only and is NOT legal advice. There is no attorney-client relationship. You are advised to consult an attorney in your Atate for specific legal advice.
Customer: replied 7 years ago.

the gun was on top of the dresser, drugs inside a dresser drawer so how are they charge with possession wit intent, and illegal carrying a firearm ,if the search warrant say agun and the people you have on the floor handcuff with your foot on their neck inciuding a female with a male cop foot on her neck (they tell the cops on top of the dresser) what are you searcing for (search warrant said GUN) you have the GUN LEAGAL???????????????????????




Expert:  Zoey_ JD replied 7 years ago.

I don't have very many facts to go on, and of course I can't read the minds of the police officers or know what information they may have had that brought them to this house in the first place.

However, if the drugs found were in too great an amount to reasonably be just for personal use, the defendant could be charged with possession with intent to sell. If there was drug paraphernalia found -- plastic bags, for example, and scales, those kinds of details as well could support a charge of possession with intent to sell.

If the police warrant said they were looking for a gun, and they found the gun on top of the dresser but didn't stop there and went looking for other things, the police may have exceeded the scope of the warrant in violation of the defendant's 4th Amendment rights. However, the law as to search and seizure is very complicated. There are very few firm rules. Decisions of what is constitutional and when the police have overstepped their authority are made by a judge on a case-by-case basis after special pre-trial suppression hearings that are designed to explore and challenge the police conduct. The standard is what a reasonable police officer would do under all the circumstances.

When a defendant takes a plea offer he gives up the right to challenge the evidence against him at hearings and trial. But if he wants to go all the way to trial on his case, his lawyer can ask for a suppression hearing and attack the search and the any other illegal police conduct.

At this kind of a hearing, the prosecutor will call a police officer to the stand and will question him as to what he did in the case. He will ask him to explain the warrant, the discuss the search, the seizure of evidence, the arrest, any post-arrest questioning, and so on. The prosecutor will try to show that everything the police said and did was reasonable under all of the circumstances.

When the prosecutor is finished, the defendant's lawyer would be able to cross-examine the police officer to try to show just how the police abused their authority, how they did not restrict themselves to what was in the warrant, how they mistreated the people in the houseand kept searching even after they had what they came for, as well as question them about anything else that may have been improper. After both sides have finished getting all the evidence out there, the prosecutor and the defense attorney will each get an opportunity to argue their point of view before the judge, drawing support from the testimony that came out at the hearing. After that, the judge will make his ruling.

If the judge rules that police actions were reasonable underall of the circumstances, the evidence would be allowed to come in against the defendant at trial. If, on the other hand, the judge rules that the police violated some or all of the defendant's rights, evidence seized as a result of those violations which would not have been inevitably discovered anyway would have to be suppressed. If the drugs and the got suppressed, obviously this whole case would have to be dismissed.

There are two important things, however, that you should be told about suppression hearings The first is that these hearings are very difficult to win. Judges give a lot of deference to the judgment calls of police out in the field and usually they will find their actions reasonable. The second is that generally these hearings aren't available until the end of the case, right before a jury would get selected. By then, any favorable deal the prosecutor has proposed is usually off of the table. This is important to keep in mind, because if the evidence does not get suppressed, with drugs and a gun in the home of the defendant, this would probably not be the strongest of trial cases for the defense..

If I've helped, please click the green Accept button so I can get credit for my work.

This thread will not close and you can always use it to get clarification.This is informational only and is NOT legal advice. There is no attorney-client relationship. You are advised to consult an attorney in your Atate for specific legal advice.