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Ely, Counselor at Law
Category: Criminal Law
Satisfied Customers: 3169
Experience:  Private practice with focus on family, criminal, PI, consumer protection, and business consultation.
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I hope your vacation went well. I just sent the question

Customer Question

I hope your vacation went well. I just sent the question yesterday and resent it today. Thank you again ... Court is in the morning.18 July 2016 05:22
I am resending because I don't know if this went through. Thank you in advance for your time.17 July 2016 03:25
Hi again,This has been weighing heavily on me. The only thing I have been charged with is the Harbouring A Runaway. I have two questions in a moment. I am not a criminal and I would not have even entertained helping him if I thought I would be arrested. I do not believe I was negligent. I knew he was approximately two months short of 17 but I told him he had to go back and he even said he planned to go to work as scheduled that evening and go home after and figure out what he would do. This is not a trial case, just a hearing with the judge. First, I was arrested and never read my rights. Second, the officers searched my house at least twice with no warrant. The young man was never found in my house. One of the officers, long after this all blew up, randomly walked off and said he was sitting in the backyard. They went back in because his dad said something about a black duffle bag he thought was missing (he never had a black duffle with him). They came out with a military jacket that had his last name on it and that is why I was arrested, after hours of cooperating. Do I have any ammunition to defend myself and have this just thrown out? His family tried every which way to prove I was a pedophile but came up empty because I'm not. They went so far as to report me to CPS for sexually abusing my daughter, people who have never met either of us in person, all assumptions. That has since been investigated and "ruled out". I will obtain the report and most likely have it destroyed within the system which is an option I have. I have accepted responsibility for what I did and I always will but I do not want myself or my family to continue to suffer.
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Criminal Law
Expert:  Legal-Kal replied 1 year ago.

Thanks for your understanding.

So your question relates to the fourth amendment regarding reasonable searches and seizures. When it comes to searches and seizures, it would be nearly impossible to answer questions regarding the issue without knowing ALL the facts. That is because fourth amendment issues (which are brought up through Motions to Quash/Motions to Suppress, is heavily fact intensive. For instance, if there is "exigent circumstances" or consent of an owner, that could and often does make all the difference.

You may be providing some of the information that you may have, but without looking at what the police are alleging (which is contained in the police report), there is no way of knowing of what issues are actually present regarding any motion (which is why these motions are usually brought by individuals only after ALL of the discovery has been tendered by the prosecution).

Expert:  Legal-Kal replied 1 year ago.

So for instance, the finding of the jacket with his name on it would give rise to probable cause to search/arrest based on something called the "plain view doctrine." However, the fact that the officer randomly walked into the backyard may constitute a "search" in that he/she went onto your premises without a reasonable basis (again, while you say it is "random," the police may allege that there was another reason). However, if it is truly "random," AND the "evidence" obtained against you is not readily apparent (i.e., not in plain-view), there could be a possible Motion lodged on your part. As you can see, there are many variables that weigh heavily on whether or not there was an infringement upon your fourth amendment right. Without knowing exactly what the officers would testify to as their bases and reasons (which is usually contained in their reports), it would be pure speculation to opine as to whether or not there was indeed a fourth amendment violation.

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Thank you for the response. I'm at loss at this point. I have no idea what to do or what will happen because I've never been in any situation that comes remotely close to this. It's not a trial just me, my PD, the state and the judge. This is the second reschedule. In my distress, I must humor myself and say, after 4+ decades of never being in trouble and helping others, I just woke up and aspired to obtain a criminal record, with all due sarcasm. It has hardened my heart, my spirit is gone and it eats my soul. Thank you for all your help. I'll try and let you know how it goes.
Expert:  Legal-Kal replied 1 year ago.

I know it may be difficult, but it can often take several court appearances to know in which direction a case is headed in. This is because the discovery process occurs only on those dates (the DA tenders the police reports only at these court hearings on the record). And, as you can imagine, a defendant in the criminal justice system won't be able to make a determination of which direction to head in until ALL of the evidence that a DA has is given to the defense). I wish you luck for tomorrow. From my experience, however, there won't be much to worry about tomorrow as it will be a quick "in and out" and will be for the sole purpose of informing the Court the progress of discovery in your case. Thank you again for your patience and good luck tomorrow!