Minor in Possession Charges Dismissed
5 under age drinkers caught drinking and playing "beer pong" in a rural field in Paola, Kansas. Sheriff deputies had been called by a neighbor to investigate the source of "loud" music; however, on arrival the deputies could barely hear the music from the county road and could not identify where exactly the sound was coming from. After parking on the side of the road and out of site, the officers observed my client's truck pull up to the privacy gate at the front of the property and watched as one client unlocked the gate so the truck could pass through. The officers quickly pursued the truck by entering through the same gate, without permission, and followed the truck to a campsite several hundred yards past the entrance. The campers were questioned about their age and drinking activities. Each submitted to a PBT (preliminary breath test) that returned positive for alcohol. Each was arrested and had to post a $250 bond for release from jail.
These young campers hired me to handle the MIP charges and avoid any consequences to their driver's licenses. In a written letter to the county attorney, I detailed the officer's illegal actions when they entered the private property without permission, without a warrant, and without reasonable suspicion that criminal activity was occurring. I argued that common law privacy expectations on private property applied, and that absent a reasonable suspicion of criminal activity, the officers had no legal basis to enter the property without permission. All Minor in Possession (MIP) charges dismissed prior to trial.
Practice area(s): Criminal Defense
Court: Miami County