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N Cal Attorney
N Cal Attorney, Lawyer
Category: Criminal Law
Satisfied Customers: 9366
Experience:  Since 1983
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Please describe the alleged paraphernalia and how it was found, and I can provide more information.

At the first appearance usually the judge reads the charge, the defendant pleads not guilty, and then asks for the court to appoint an attorney if the defendant cannot afford to hire one.

Edited by N Cal Attorney on 12/2/2010 at 9:19 AM EST
Customer: replied 6 years ago.
the item was a glass pipe found while my husband was going through a boarder patrol check point. dogs hit on it
Are you both charged with possession of the pipe?

Is this in State or Federal Court?

Do either of you have any prior convictions?

Who gave you the citation? Does the citation state what the charges are?
Customer: replied 6 years ago.

No. I was not with him. My spouse lives and works in California but he travels to Arizona occasionally on weekends to visit our son.


State court.


He does have priors in California. He did some time for a felony drug conviction (2004) and has been off parole for 3 yrs. To the best of my knowledge he has been clean since his release so the whole thing is distrubing. don't have any information on type of pipe or the conditions of how it was found.


The boarder patol agents issued the citation and sent him on his way leading him to think that it might be a "payable" ticket. The citation stated the charge (just one) as

"possession of parapharnalia/attempt" but I don't have it so I don't have the offense number.

Can you find out if this was at a border patrol checkpoint and not at the actual US-Mexico border?
Both charges can be either misdemeanors of felonies under Arizona law but as a practical matter they are likely to be treated as misdemeanors, and there is a good chance the penalty would be a fine without jail time. See

See also

I don't have any of the facts but I know there might be an issue as to the legality of the search. You can get a free consultation from some of the Arizona criminal defense lawyers listed by location at lists attorneys there who specialize in marijuana cases.

I hope this information is helpful.
Customer: replied 6 years ago.
It was at a boarder patrol checkpoint. I followed your links but I think that the pipe was methamphetamine related not marijuana.
How was it that his vehicle was searched?
Customer: replied 6 years ago.

at the check points you have to come to a stop until your waved on by the boarder patrol agent. mean while a K-9 (dog patrol) is being led around the vehicles. If the dog "hits" on something he alerts his owner and you are told to pull up to a secondary station. There they ask you a few questions while the dog sniffs around in the vehicle, in this case it wasn't hard because the pipe was in his computer bag on the front seat of his truck, then if the dog does find something they ask you some more question take you inside to search you if need be (they didn't strip search him like they indicated) but after checking his pockets and talking to him they wrote him a citation told him to show up for court and sent him on his way.

Did they ever ask him to consent to a search?

Did he consent?
Customer: replied 6 years ago.

basically yes, if the dog alerts them; that is their "probable cause", if you don't consent they just call the sheriff's department who will search it and then your risk of being arrested increases. They didn't read him his rights so he wasn't arrested. Just a ticket "criminal citation" that he signed as acknowledgment to a court appearance.

My opinion is that the search was illegal, but he needs a local attorney to fight this. Do you know what town or county the case was filed in?
Customer: replied 6 years ago.

His case is filed in Yuma Az.this.

Is this a "serious" offense or a "minor" one? Arizona is a ''No Tolerance" state, do they even have payable fines or is it just "guilty! go to jail."

This is technically serious but in reality is treated as a pretty minor type of offense.

He cannot be sent to jail without a trial or a guilty plea.

The article at
indicates that most of these cases are treated as misdemeanors and punished by fines.

There is a real issue as to the legality of border patrol officers deploying drug dogs on US citizens at these checkpoints. You can find Yuma criminal defense attorneys listed at

I would urge him to contact a local attorney for assistance.
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