Riverside, CA asked in Criminal Law, Civil Rights and Constitutional Law for California

Q: I was stopped for a infraction concerning riding a bicycle the wrong way on a sidewalk. Subsequently they patted me down

The reason given was because I was in a area know for drug activities and they wanted to make sure they were safe and free from any weapons I may be carrying. I was next to a motel 6 where I had a room at the time.

I am not on probation or parole and I have my 4th amendment rights. I was not being aggressive nor resistant and I have no prior violence on my record. Its Clear to me that they were profiling me and that the stop was not random.. Upon their pat down for weapons they detected a glass tube used to smoke meth in my pocket. Again, not a weapon. Yet that apparently gave them cause to continue their search, (as if they needed a reason because they were already) and in doing so found drugs in a shoulder bag I carried. My question,...forget the fact that they found the tube, did they have the right to pat me down to begin with? They were in no danger and should not of felt that they needed to pat me down for weapons. A pat down is a search and I did not consent to being searche

2 Lawyer Answers
Joseph Abrams
PREMIUM
Joseph Abrams
Answered
  • Criminal Law Lawyer
  • Anaheim, CA
  • Licensed in California

A: Although this appears to be a close issue, the short answer is that they probably had the right to search you. The reason is that pat down searches are generally legal when police stop or detain a suspect for there own safety. Here, it appears they had the right to detain you based on the observed traffic violation. Also, it does not appear that the search extended beyond what is acceptable for a "pat down" search (basically a search of the pockets and outer clothing area). However, these and others are issues that can be contested and challenged in court. You should consult with an experienced criminal defense attorney to better understand your rights and legal arguments in your case.

- Law Office of Joseph Abrams, Anaheim, CA

Rhonda Mae Hixon
Rhonda Mae Hixon
Answered
  • Criminal Law Lawyer
  • Redding, CA
  • Licensed in California

A: Without specific, articulable facts that create a reasonable suspicion that you are armed and/or dangerous, it is a violation of your 4th Amendment Right to be free from an unreasonable

search and seizure, to even be subject to a pat-down search. The facts as you present them don't justify the search. Get a good lawyer who will pursue a suppression motion (1538.5 P.C.)

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