There are still many people out there in Boston and environs who think that it is possible to be “arrest proof”. “After all”, they reason, if I do not commit a crime, I have nothing to worry about, right?” Let an experienced attorney tell you…wrong.
Let’s look at the possibility of drug charges for example.
You are going out for a crime-free evening of seeing a movie with a friend. Sounds safe enough, right?
Your friend comes by and picks you up and, as you drive to the movie, you see blue lights flashing behind you and there is the disturbing sound of a screaming siren.
Surely they cannot mean you.
Your friend pulls over. Maybe he took a bad turn, or a light is out or something.
The officer comes over and asks for your friend’s license and registration and will not say anything about the reason for the stop.
Being the helpful sort, you reach to open the glove compartment to get his registration.
“Hold it sir!”, comes the command from outside your window from the second officer.
The officer is now suspicious as to why you reached for the glove compartment, which is, of course, right in front of you, since you are the front passenger. So he opens it.
A little bag of some kind of drug –you choose…it can be bags of marijuana, cocaine or ecstasy… lies within.
You are now charged with either possession or, more likely, possession with intent to distribute.
Did the stash belong to your pal? A friend of his? Perhaps his kid? Well, maybe you can figure it out by the time you get to trial.
“Ok, Sam”, you say, “I will never leave my apartment again…at least unless I am driving in my own car.”
Alright, stay home. Do you have a roommate? Do you have a kid? Any visitors? Do they have a pocket? A bag? A room?
You see, the law says that “mere presence” is not enough to be convicted. You have to know the stuff is there or possess it in some way. The only problem is that you generally do not get to present that to anyone until the time of trial. And you had better have someone who knows what they are doing representing you when you do that. Someone persuasive, because, as I have told you before, my experience has been that, while you are presumed innocent, you are usually assumed guilty…at least until trial and, sometimes, even then.
So, my point is not that you should live the rest of your life under your bed or play Gestapo games with all who live with or accompany you. The point is that you need to be aware that being arrested can indeed happen to anyone and, whether you are guilty or not, you can be found guilty.
Don’t be foolish.
Take is seriously. Make sure you have an experienced criminal defense attorney representing you every step of the way…even if it is simply at the investigative stage.
Should you find yourself or someone you care about to be facing such a situation as these and wish to discuss the matter with me, please feel free to call me at (617) 206-1942.
Have a great, safe and law-abiding weekend!