can i still sue even after theyve dropped all charges?

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Latest post 08-08-2012 2:46 AM by DOCAR. 13 replies.
  • 08-05-2012 3:08 AM

    can i still sue even after theyve dropped all charges?

    NOV 29, 2011 I WAS PULLED OVER WHILE TAKING MY CHILDREN TO THE DENTIST. MY DRIVERS LICENSE WAS SUSPENDED AND THE OFFICER CHOSE TO ARREST ME IN FRONT OF MY CHIKDREN FOR THIS, EVEN THOUGH HE DIDNT  HAVE TO ARREST ME AND IT IS NOT NORMALLY AN ARRESTABLE OFFENCE.AFTER HE PUT ME AND MY CHILDREN IN HIS PATROL CAR AND WHILE WAITING FOR A TOW TRUCK, HE PROCEEDED TO SEARCH MY VEHICLE ALTHOUGH HE CLAIMED HE WAS DOING INVENTORY, HEE ONLY LOOKED IN THE DRIVER SEAT AREA SO IT WOULDNT HAVE BEEN MUCH OF AN INVENTORY, HE HAPPENED TO FIND SOME VALIUM IN A BOX OF CANDY, THEY WERENT MINE AND I KNEW NOTHING ABOUT THEM.I HAVE NO HISTOIRY OR DRUGS NOR ANY DRUG CHARGES, I WAS THEN CHARGED WITH POSSESSION IF A CONTROLLED SUBSTANCE ALSO. I BONDED OUT, RETAINED AN ATTORNEY AND GAVE HIM A SIGNED LETTER AND PROOF OF PRESCRIPTION FROM THE RIGHTFUL OWNER OF THE PILLS STATING SHE MUST HAVE DROPPED THEM WHEN SHE DROVE MY CAR A FEW DAYS PRIOR AND THAT I KNEW NOTHING ABOUT THEM. MY ATTORNEY SHOWED THIS LETTER TO THE PROSECUTER WHO REFUSED TO ACCEPT IT AND SUPPOSEDLY MADE A STATEMENT ALONG THE LINES OF " ITS REAL EASY TO GET HER FRIEND WHO IS PRESCRIBED THIS MEDICATION TO CLAIM OWNERSHIP TO KEEP HER FRIENDUT OF TROUBLE" I INSISTED THAT MY ATTORNEY REQUEST A COPY OF THIS SO CALLED INVENTORY LIST WHICH THE OFFICER WAS NEVER ABLE TO PROVIDE SO I INSISTED MY ATTORNEY FILE A MOTION TO SUPPRESS THE EVIDENCE BECAUSE IT WAS DISCOVERED BY MEANS IF ILLEGAL SEARCH. HE SAID HE WAS DOING INVENTORY JUST SO HE COULD SEARCH MY VEHICLE AND NEVER ACTUALLY DID AN INVENTORY. ALL CHARGED WERE DROPPED!! I HAVE YET TO RECIEVE A DISSERTATION AS TO WHY THEY  CHOSE TO DROP ALL CHARGES BUT I WANT TO KNOW IF I CAN SUE THE CITY FOR ILLEGAL SEARCH AND SEIZURE, I WAS ARRESTED IN FRONT OF MY CHILDREN AND IVE SPENT ATLEAST $10000 IN FEES FROM BONDSMEN TO MY ATTORNEY 

  • 08-05-2012 3:26 AM In reply to

    Re: can i still sue even after theyve dropped all charges?

    I apologize for using all caps, I sent this from my phone and for some  reason  it got stuck on caps.

  • 08-05-2012 7:31 AM In reply to

    • LG81
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    Re: can i still sue even after theyve dropped all charges?

    angi witcher:
    I WANT TO KNOW IF I CAN SUE THE CITY FOR ILLEGAL SEARCH AND SEIZURE, I WAS ARRESTED IN FRONT OF MY CHILDREN AND IVE SPENT ATLEAST $10000 IN FEES FROM BONDSMEN TO MY ATTORNEY 

    You can try, but I doubt you would be successful.  By your own admission, you were breaking the law since you were driving with a suspended license.  As for the "illegal search and seizure", the officer would likely have a good defense that he was conducting an inventory while waiting for the tow.  Yes, he did discover illegal drugs in the car; you were in possession of a controlled substance that was not prescribed to you.  You are fortunate that charges were dropped; you may want to let it go at that.

  • 08-05-2012 9:34 AM In reply to

    Re: can i still sue even after theyve dropped all charges?

    angi witcher:
    I INSISTED MY ATTORNEY FILE A MOTION TO SUPPRESS THE EVIDENCE BECAUSE IT WAS DISCOVERED BY MEANS IF ILLEGAL SEARCH.

    Was this motion ever filed?  

    angi witcher:
    I WAS ARRESTED IN FRONT OF MY CHILDREN AND IVE SPENT ATLEAST $10000 IN FEES FROM BONDSMEN TO MY ATTORNEY 

    A known consequence of breaking the law which you were doing by driving on a suspended license.

     

    angi witcher:
    ALL CHARGED WERE DROPPED!! I HAVE YET TO RECIEVE A DISSERTATION AS TO WHY THEY CHOSE TO DROP ALL CHARGES BUT I WANT TO KNOW IF I CAN SUE THE CITY FOR ILLEGAL SEARCH AND SEIZURE,

    Doubtful since it doesn't appear it was an illegal search or seizure. You were driving on a suspended license so it was a valid stop for an illegal offense. While the officer doesn't HAVE to arrest you he can and chose to. At the point the arrrest was effected and the car was awaiting being towed and impounded the police have the authority to search.

    Have you asked your lawyer if this is the reason they charges were dropped? Surely your lawyer knows why they aren't pursuing it. The state has NO obligation to send you a "dissertation" about why the charges aren't being pursued.  Keep in mind that even though they were dropped now the state has up to the statute of limitations to charge you. They could reinstate them any time prior to the statutes expiring.

    Last, the remedy for illegal search and seizure is the suppression of the evidence.  The state would be barred from using it at trial.  It doesn't give you a basis to sue since you were driving on a suspended license and the stop was legal.  

    "That's just my opinion, then again I might be wrong."  Dennis Miller

     

  • 08-05-2012 12:55 PM In reply to

    Re: can i still sue even after theyve dropped all charges?

    yes i knowingly broke the law by driving while suspended and was subsequently arrested for it but in Missouri that does not give the officer the right to search, only do iYnventory which is what he claimed he had done. yes my attorney successfully filed the motion to suppress after the officer was unable to provide his inventory list and a week before court the prosecutor called my attorney to tell him she is dismissing all charges.The way hge saud it to me was " i pushed the issue of requiring that inventory list and file the motion to suppress like you wanted abd the prosecutor agreed with me and dismissed all charges"Ultimately what im getting at is although i did break the law by driving, this officer had no right to search and never even tried to claim he had reasonable cause to search, he stuck with his story of doing inventory but could never produce an inventory list,I believe he used the guise of doing inventory to have a chance to search my vehicle and that is illegal!  "

  • 08-05-2012 10:38 PM In reply to

    • Kivi
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    Re: can i still sue even after theyve dropped all charges?

    Prosecutors drop charges for a variety of reasons, even when they think the defendent is guilty. They generally are not required to disclose their reasons.

    The fact that the prosecutor dropped the charges will not, in and of itself, give you basis for a civil law suit.

    There may be other aspects of your situation that might give you a basis for a civil rights law suit, but the prosecutor's decision probably is not one of them.

    Feel free to discuss the totality of this event with a suitable attorney to see if you have a case.

  • 08-05-2012 11:29 PM In reply to

    Re: can i still sue even after theyve dropped all charges?

    I have drafted a letter explaining the details of my case and intend on sending it out to all the local civil lawyers in the area just as they do when you get a traffic ticket then wait and see if they contact me if they believe i have a case. i just got on here to get an idea of my chances and see what people thought before i spend $30 + on postage.

  • 08-05-2012 11:45 PM In reply to

    • LG81
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    Re: can i still sue even after theyve dropped all charges?

    angi witcher:

    I have drafted a letter explaining the details of my case and intend on sending it out to all the local civil lawyers in the area just as they do when you get a traffic ticket then wait and see if they contact me if they believe i have a case. i just got on here to get an idea of my chances and see what people thought before i spend $30 + on postage.

    Good luck to you.  The law doesn't care that you had children in tow while in possession of controlled substances that were not prescribed to you.  That these controlled substances were mixed in with candy causes one to further disregard your situation as your kids (that you are trying to use to shield you from the law) may have thought the pills to be candy since they were in a candy box and could have been seriously hurt or killed.   I really have difficulty believing your story as you were already disregarding the law by driving while suspended.  Even if I give you the benefit of a doubt in regards to that matter, I find it hard to believe that a mother would let anyone drive her car while taking valium (even if legally prescribed).

  • 08-06-2012 12:30 AM In reply to

    Re: can i still sue even after theyve dropped all charges?

    you have a great point and yeah i guess that makes me appear like and even worse drug addict that i was already made out to be, the only reason i mentioned my children was not to fru to make anyone feel sorry for me or to give the impression  that i shouldnt have been arrested because i happened to have my kids with me, i only mentioned it because i am not in fact a drug addict.

       I try to raise my children properly, i was horribly embarrassed that i was not only arrested but chastized for having "drugs" in my car directly in front of my children one of whom is 13, how do i explain to this to bim, or when he gets older and peehaps gets caught with some illegal substance im sure bis excuse now will be " theyre not mine, someone left them in my car/room.

         I happen to have a prescription of valium as well so if i knew tbey weree there i would have just put them in the bottle with my own and all of this  could have been avoided.

       Before the charges were dismissed, I was trying to fight my case by proving the officer who had only been an officer for 6 months at the time conducted an illegal search, now that they dismissed charges( im positive because they realized they would have lost because the officer couldnt produce his inventory list) now that the charges have been dismissed I want to sue for him trampling all over my 4th amendment right!! 

  • 08-06-2012 5:12 PM In reply to

    Re: can i still sue even after theyve dropped all charges?

    I think you ought to let sleeping dogs lie.  If a police officer found valium in a candy box and didn't call social services (which he'd have a right to do), don't compound the problem by thinking there's a lawsuit here.  You will also want to, I trust, seek expungement of the arrest, and the state ain't gonna do that unless you sign a waiver of claims saying you won't sue them for anything.  That's standard procedure.

    If your kid is 13, the notion that you'd have a hard time explaining this to him strikes me as odd.  Also, if your kid someday does the "it isn't mine" thing, that's a risk his numbskull self takes (it doesn't matter if "it" is his or not if he's in possession, and you might want to tell him that).

     

  • 08-06-2012 5:30 PM In reply to

    • LG81
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    Re: can i still sue even after theyve dropped all charges?

    Why was your license suspended in the first place?  The reason for that (and the fact that you were driving on a suspended license) could give you some insight as to the perception you believe the officer held.

    angi witcher:

       I try to raise my children properly, i was horribly embarrassed that i was not only arrested but chastized for having "drugs" in my car directly in front of my children one of whom is 13, how do i explain to this to bim, or when he gets older and peehaps gets caught with some illegal substance im sure bis excuse now will be " theyre not mine, someone left them in my car/room.

    Turn it into a learning experience.  The 13-year-old is only a couple of years away from getting a driver's license and not far from likely leaving the nest.  Admit you were wrong for driving on a suspended license, and demonstrate to him/her how serious it is to break the law like that.  Teach him to know who his or her friends are before lending a car or a place to crash. 

    angi witcher:
     Before the charges were dismissed, I was trying to fight my case by proving the officer who had only been an officer for 6 months at the time conducted an illegal search, now that they dismissed charges( im positive because they realized they would have lost because the officer couldnt produce his inventory list) now that the charges have been dismissed I want to sue for him trampling all over my 4th amendment right!! 

    You have still not made a case for an illegal search. That the charges were dismissed does not make the search illegal; it is quite possible the charges were dismissed because the evidence was insufficient due partially to the way the rookie officer documented what occured.  At the end of the day, it is important to keep in mind that you were in possession of a controlled substance that was not prescribed to you (it does not really matter that you also have a Valium Rx). 

     

  • 08-06-2012 6:28 PM In reply to

    Re: can i still sue even after theyve dropped all charges?

    angi witcher:
    now that the charges have been dismissed I want to sue for him trampling all over my 4th amendment right!! 

    Put the drama llama back in the paddock.  Your rights weren't trampled.  The officer made a rookie mistake and you benefited from it.  You have no damages other than your hurt feelings which are not compensable.  You should be grateful that the officer made the mistake because given that you were caught with a Schedule II controlled substance in a candy container you could be facing a felony conviction and serious jail time.  

    As I sadi before, if the charges were not dismissed with prejudice the state can always refile them if they find other evidence to convict you.

    Go ahead and mail the letters.  Let us know how many responses you get.

    "That's just my opinion, then again I might be wrong."  Dennis Miller

     

  • 08-08-2012 2:09 AM In reply to

    Re: can i still sue even after theyve dropped all charges?

      My License was suspened in lieu of bail for a traffic ticket and I missed my court date, even after I went to court and the charges were dismissed they never released the suspension and i didnt push that issue as i wasnt even aware it was suspended. later i got a ticket for driving while suspended which atomatically suspends it for another 2 yrs.

       As per my attorney the prosecutor agreed it was a bad search and dismissed all charges without prejudice.It goes beyond just my feelings being hurt, i payed $5000 to a bail bondsman and an additional $3500 to my attorney. I took the risk by driving while suspended but thats only an additional suspension and $250 fine.

  • 08-08-2012 2:46 AM In reply to

    • DOCAR
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    Re: can i still sue even after theyve dropped all charges?

    I take it your attorney isn't jumping all over this one to take it for you.  As you probably know, anyone can sue anyone, but the key is winning and not throwing good money afer bad.  Even had there been no search, the arrest was lawful, driving on a suspended license is a misdemeanor. So there is a good chance your case would fail right there.

     I don't know about MO, but Where I have practiced, driving on a suspended license carries a possible jail sentence, a second driving suspended included a mandatory minimum of 10 days in jail.

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