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On 7/1/2013 I was pulled over after making a u turn in front

of my condo while looking...
On 7/1/2013 I was pulled over after making a u turn in front of my condo while looking for a parking space and given a ticket for making a "Left turn in a roadway". When the officer walked up to my car he then smelt the marijuana I had just purchased and proceeded to give me a test for alcohol intoxication which I passed. He asked me several other inappropriate questions and then wrote me a ticket for 22100(6) VC and 23222(4) VC. The second offence was amended 4 days later to 11357(c?) H&S. I was never fined for the first offence which was the original reason for being pulled over. On 8/28/2013 I was given a medical recomendation for the use of marijuana.
On 9/26/2013 I appeared in court I was pulled aside by a public defender who told me that I had 2 only choices. Either plead guilty and pay a huge fine with possible jail time or plead guilty and take the PC1000 option which would entail going to classes, refraining from any use of marijuana for 18 months and the offence would be wiped from my record. I believe they also asked me if I had a job and income, which I did not.
Here is where I assume I made my first mistake and that was to choose the second option. The public defender called the next name on her list and I was told to go wait for my name to be called in court. When I went before the judge the defender entered my plea of guilty, the judge fined me $255, (which I was given no warning of), and told to comply with the PC1000 statute. I was never asked about the possibility that I could prove that I was a medical marijuana patient, which I was prepared to do at that time had I been given the option or asked at all.
Since then I've had to sign up for a class with the McAllister Institute at a cost of $455.00, (Once again no warning of this cost to a company that apparently has a monopoly with the court system).
So my questions are, because the original offence was dropped does that mean that he had no probable cause from the very beginning? Because it is perfectly legal to make a u-turn on my street and he wrote me up for making a left turn does that mean anything in the case? Do I have a case for having this overturned and thrown out, my money returned and no record of the offence to appear on my record?
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Answered in 9 minutes by:
11/21/2013
Zoey_ JD
Zoey_ JD, JustAnswer Criminal Law Mentor
Category: Criminal Law
Satisfied Customers: 28,704
Experience: Admitted to NYS Criminal defense bar in 1989. Extensive arraignment, hearing, trial experience.
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Hello,

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

No, the fact that the original offense was dropped does not necessarily mean that there was no probable cause for the stop. In fact, the police don't need probable cause to stop a car. They just need an articulable suspicion -- a reason they can articulate which can be just about anything -- to stop a car.

The fact that you have a medical marijuana card does not give you the right to smoke in your car. To the contrary. So it might not have saved you from a conviction. All things considered, the PC 1000, while expensive, will ensure a dismissal if you do everything the court mandates. It is probably too late to get your plea back, but if you do, as you have been told, the guaranteed dismissal that will be yours if you comply with the terms of PC 1000 will go away, and you will risk a criminal record.

I think your lawyer has the right idea. Consider letting sleeping dogs lie.
Zoey_ JD
Zoey_ JD, JustAnswer Criminal Law Mentor
Category: Criminal Law
Satisfied Customers: 28,704
Experience: Admitted to NYS Criminal defense bar in 1989. Extensive arraignment, hearing, trial experience.
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Customer reply replied 4 years ago

I was not smoking in the car nor was I under the influence of any substance at all. It is necessary when coming home from the freeway to make a u-turn in order to park on my side of the street. There is nothing even remotely suspicious about simply parking a vehicle....unless he wants to argue that I live in a "suspicious neighborhood"?

Hi,

I understand what you are now saying.. Do you understand, however, that you waived the right to challenge the evidence against you by taking a plea? That cost you your rights to hearings and trials and a record was made at the time of your plea that this was what you wanted to do and that you were guilty as charged.

That record will make it near impossible to get your plea back. 99+% of such petitions fail, largely because judges are careful to have the defendant make such a record . You are welcome to try a petition, but then you will have no choice but to go to trial on the case if you win your petition. And I have never yet known a suppression hearing that turned out to be a slam dunk for either side. For one thing, don't expect the police officer's recollection to match your own. Your victory is not a foregone conclusion. Your guilt isn't either, but you'd still be risking a conviction.

Best of luck, whichever way you decide.
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Customer reply replied 4 years ago

Well thank you for your work. I do not believe that I was aware that I was waiving any such right to challenge the evidence against me. To the best of my knowledge I do not believe I was made aware of that by either the public defender or the judge. And if I was it was apparently done in the form of some sort of legaleze that I did not understand. After thinking the whole experience over, I felt, for lack of a better word, that I was railroaded throught the process.


I understand what you say about my chances and that just enforces my belief that those of us without any legal education are having our rights trampled upon on a daily basis. I do appreciate the work you've done but I do feel unsatisfied with the answer or at the very least the brickwall of inability to challenge the "old boy" network of the courts. I feel completely let down by the state of American justice. I'm sure myl little case doesn't amount to a hill of beans anyway. But I will at least verify your credit taking yet another small hit besides the $710.00 hit I've already taken and couldn't afford.

Customer reply replied 4 years ago

I did not take your advice and simply roll over and take the choice I was given. Instead I continued to contact the district attorney's office through the support link online and my case has now been taking up by one of the higher authorities in the system. Because of my persistence is very likely the system will be changed. Simply accepting this "old boys" network is unacceptable.

Well then, best of luck to you, and may you get the justice you believe you deserve.
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Zoey_ JD
Zoey_ JD
Zoey_ JD, JustAnswer Criminal Law Mentor
Category: Criminal Law
Satisfied Customers: 28,704
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Experience: Admitted to NYS Criminal defense bar in 1989. Extensive arraignment, hearing, trial experience.

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