Milwaukee, WI asked in Criminal Law and Constitutional Law for Wisconsin

Q: Could my 4th Amendment rights have been violated?

I was pulled over for 1 mile over the speed limit, 5 mins later given a warning. Passenger asked name, gave a false one pulled out the car. Another deputy comes to the car says im throwing white powder out the window makes me get out. I told him I was not giving him permission to search nor walked the dog around my car. Dog smelled something, Im arrested for possession of cocaine. While cuffed they asked if I had anything on me or in me that could get me in trouble. I had my prescription pain meds in a bottle in my bra - charged with felony possession of my own pain meds. I just found out that the real reason I was pulled over was a family member/informant of one of my passengers told them it was drugs in my car. No cocaine ever found. Cleared by the jail/knew I had prescriptions for all but a diet pill that I purchased online still a controlled sub in wisconsin. This found after warning already written, after I was cuffed and placed under arrest. Have they violated my 4th?

1 Lawyer Answer
William F Sulton
William F Sulton
  • Milwaukee, WI
  • Licensed in Wisconsin

A: More information is needed to provide meaningful advice. You cannot be arrested for (or charged with) possession of prescription medication without having a valid prescription absent probable cause. So unless you had a large number of pills or confessed, it would ordinarily be difficult to get to probable cause.

It sounds like you were stopped for the purpose of investigating cocaine possession. Without knowing what the tip precisely said, it is difficult to evaluate whether the police had the prerequisite reasonable suspicion. It does not sound like they did, however. I say that because of the steps they went through.

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