Dismissal of Paraphernalia Charge in city court
City of Merriam vs. DS: Client charged with Possession of Paraphernalia in Municipal Court after admitting to owning a glass pipe used for smoking marijuana. The pipe was found on the living room floor during a walk through by an officer investigating a domestic dispute. Client was placed in the patrol vehicle for questioning on the domestic dispute issue and was eventually asked about the smoking pipe. According to the arresting officer, my client was "not in handcuffs and not in custody" when asked about the glass pipe. The sole issue was whether my client was entitled to Miranda warnings (advising of right to remain silent, right to counsel) as he was questioned about the glass pipe while seated in the backseat of the police vehicle. I filed a Motion to Suppress his admission, arguing that my client was in deed "in custody" as he was not free to leave the scene and therefore the Miranda warnings were required before questioning him regarding his ownership of the pipe. The prosecutor agreed my client was in fact "in custody" even though he had not been arrested. A reasonable person would not feel free to terminate the encounter with police and the questions were designed to illicit a confession. By filing the Motion in advance of trial, we were able to persuade the prosecutor to dismiss the charge and avoid the hassle and risk of a trial.
Practice area(s): Criminal Defense