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Zoey, JD
Zoey, JD, Attorney
Category: Legal
Satisfied Customers: 26792
Experience:  Active member of the NYS bar since 1989
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Can the ACLU help my 18 yoa daughter who was arrested during

Customer Question

Can the ACLU help my 18 yoa daughter who was arrested during a protest rally?
JA: Since laws vary from place to place, what state is this in? And when did this happen?
Customer: VA. Occurred this past Thursday Am. She was arrested on Interstate 95 and charged with failure to disperse. She had a panic attack and froze when the state pd started yelling. So she sat down and put her hands up because she was unable to move.
JA: Has anything been filed or reported?
Customer: She has ppwk to appear for arraignment on Monday 11/14 in court.
JA: Anything else you want the lawyer to know before I connect you?
Customer: She was held for more that two hours before being Mirandized and the another 5 or so hours before processing because the jail's computer system went down. during which time she had 3 panic attacks, ask for her medication and her inhaler, to which she was laughed at by the deputies on duty.
Submitted: 8 months ago.
Category: Legal
Expert:  Zoey, JD replied 8 months ago.


I'm Zoey and I'll be assisting you. I'm reviewing your question now. Please be patient while I compose a reply for you.

What are you hoping the ACLU will be able to do for your daughter?

Customer: replied 8 months ago.
Hello, daughter speaking. My mother and I were wondering if I had by rights violated in any way, and because of this, could the chargers be dropped?
Expert:  Zoey, JD replied 8 months ago.

Thank you for the reply.

If you were never interrogated after you were arrested, your Miranda rights were not violated. It is not necessary that Miranda warnings be given with every arrest. Miranda just stands for the fact that you don't have to submit to post-arrest interrogation about an incident.

Miranda warnings do not have to be given at the time of your arrest. They should be given before you are questioned about the incident.

A Miranda violation does not, unfortunately mean your case would get dismissed. You'd be entitled to a hearing on whether your rights were violated. If you win the Miranda hearing, the case would go on, but any statements you made that were improperly taken could not be used against you during the course of the trial.

The lack of access to your inhaler may rise to the level of a civil rights violation if you can demonstrate that you sustained physical injury as a direct result of their denial of that medication. However, that too would not get your case dismissed. That would be a separate civil matter rather than a part of your criminal case, if you wanted to try to sue the police and hold them accountable for injuries you sustained.

Your criminal charge is a Class 3 misdemeanor. YOu can see the law as to this here. A class 3 misdemeanor is a very low level offense. There is no possibility of jail time for a class 3 misdemeanor. It has a civil fine, which can be up to $500.

That said, it is a misdemeanor and it can appear on your criminal history. So if it is not dismissed, you would want to have a lawyer with you for your arraignment to negotiate a disposition which would keep the conviction off of your record or who would try the case for you if you wished to fight the charges.

The ACLU does not act as an attorney on a trial level. But they can direct you to a local civil rights lawyer who can go over whether you have any kind of a viable civil suit for the denial of your medication.

Expert:  Zoey, JD replied 8 months ago.

Just checking in to see if you need more help or any clarification of my answer. If so, please reply here on this question thread.