It depends on the situation. I can tell you that with a basic traffic stop, if the police officer starts asking you questions, the police officers don’t necessarily have to read you your Miranda Rights at that point in time. Miranda Rights have to be read when a person is under custodial interrogation, meaning they are in police custody and when they are being interrogated. Miranda rights help prevent a person from saying or signing something that they’re going to later on regret.
If you are in custody and they are asking you questions and they don’t read your Miranda Rights, then the cure is any statement that you make cannot be used against you later on. So, when you’re on the street and they’re asking you for your license and registration and asking to look into your car, the court has ruled that the person is not in custody at that point in time, therefore, they don’t have to read Miranda Rights.
If they’re out there and they’re being held for an extended period of time, then it becomes an issue of whether or not because of the length of time that they’re being stopped, are they now in custody. Those are issues for an experienced attorney to address with the court to try to keep that person’s statement out of evidence because the personal statements are the most damning thing to them and that is what we always try to keep out, if we can.
When a Case is Dismissed, is it Automatically Removed From the Record?
No, it does not completely go off your record. It will always show that you have been charged even if it’s dismissed, unless you get what’s called an expungement. An expungement will wipe your record clean of even the charge, and the only situation when you are eligible for an expungement are when the charges are dismissed without any terms and conditions on the record.
If the judge ordered you to do community service in order to get the charge dismissed, then you would not be able to have that charge later on expunged. But if your attorney tells you to do community service, then we present that community service to the prosecutor and then they dismiss the charge, then that charge later on would be eligible for an expungement because there was not a term or condition on the record. The charge was dismissed because of the homework that we had you do but since the court did not order you to do it, you would be eligible for an expungement later on.
Are Penalties Harsher For Drugs Like Cocaine, Meth, or Heroin?
The way you handle the case is relatively the same, but yes, the penalties do become more stringent when you are dealing with the harder drugs such as heroine, meth, or cocaine. When you are dealing with possession of these drugs, you would still be eligible for a first offender program with a possession of those drugs. However, our recommendations stay the same; we try to avoid having our clients do that first offender program because then, they would not be eligible for an expungement later on.
This is why we develop our plan of action for people, having them do their homework assignments, because these are the types of things that the court likes to see. They could still potentially allow the person to have their charge dismissed by completing those assignments but we still attack the cases the same, we’re still looking for the same issues in regards to the stop, search and seizure of a person or their vehicle. We’re still looking for the same issues in determining whether or not they can even prove that the drug is what it is. Nothing really changes in the way that you approach the case except for the fact that there are more stringent penalties and the procedure from the court’s perspective is a bit different.
For more information on Viewing Drug Charges on a Criminal Record, a free initial consultation is your next best step. Get the information and legal answers you’re seeking by calling (703) 548-1462 today.