In certain other countries—Japan being one of them—any time there is an incident with a drunk driver, all passengers in the car are considered equally liable. As startling as this is, Japanese law states that every person in a vehicle should be equally sharing the responsibility of having a sober driver at the wheel. Those who are unfortunate enough to be caught riding with a drunk driver will face a penalty of $5,000, three years in jail and points on their license. While we may find this type of law overly harsh, the overall DUI arrest rate in Japan is down almost 50% since the law was implemented. So what are the laws in the United States regarding passengers riding with a person who is found to be over the legal limit?
Penalties against Passengers
The United States laws do not allow another’s actions to be held against anyone other than themselves, therefore it would be virtually impossible for a passenger to be held liable for riding in the car with a driver who has had too much to drink. Although it is certainly foolish and possibly irresponsible to climb into a car with a drunk driver, the passenger nevertheless has not broken any specific laws. There are only a couple of instances where the passenger riding in a car with a person who is over the legal BAC limit could get into trouble.
The first scenario would be when the police officer has a pretty strong suspicion that the passenger has switched places with the driver upon seeing the flashing lights of the police car. If the officer has any doubts as to who was actually driving the car, he can request identification from the passenger, running that information through the system in search of outstanding warrants or tickets. Should there be no other reason to hold the passenger, the officer may still bring them in for switching places with the drunk driver. In this instance, it might end up being the officer’s word against that of the driver/passenger, however judges will typically take the word of an officer first.
Additionally, if the police stopped the car due to suspicion of drunk driving, the passenger might be found to be in possession of an illegal substance or illegal weapon, then would face his or her own charges. By and large, however, riding in a car with a person who is subsequently pulled over for DUI does not result in penalties of any type for the passenger.
Your Rights as a Passenger
As the passenger in a vehicle which is stopped by a police officer when the driver is suspected of DUI, you have the right to refuse to provide identification to the officer. Be aware, however, that this refusal could annoy the officer enough that he might look for any reason to detain you. If you do provide ID to the officer, he will almost certainly run your name and license number through the system, and if you have any blip on your record, you might be better off refusing to provide ID. Legally, only those who are actually driving are required to carry identification. Passengers in such a situation are strongly urged to politely inquire whether or not they are free to leave the scene, and strongly discouraged from answering any questions which could arouse the suspicion of the police officer. If you have been detained by an officer when you were only riding along in the car, you should contact an experienced attorney immediately to avoid any further complications.
If you have been arrested in Kansas, an experienced Kansas criminal defense lawyer is your best bet to resolve your legal dilemma. Kansas criminal defense attorney Stacey Schlimmer aggressively defends those arrested for criminal offenses in Johnson County and the surrounding areas of Kansas. Our Kansas criminal defense law firm offers a confidential free consultation so call us today at (913) 219-5424 or contact us online.
Sexual abuse accusations are very serious and can turn the accused’s life upside down. If those accusations are false, then the person will suffer under the damage to their reputation for a very long time to come even if the charges are later found to be false. Unfortunately, false accusation are not all that uncommon during especially nasty divorces and custody battles and it is imperative that you have an experienced criminal defense attorney in your corner who fully understands the dynamics that can lead to such devastating accusations and how best to deal with them. In an attempt to gain custody one parent may accuse the other of sexual abuse of the children thinking the courts will surely not grant custody to a parent accused of such a heinous crime. The accuser rarely thinks ahead to the months and potentially years of problems they are creating for their ex because of a false statement, or perhaps they do think ahead and deliberately set out to ruin the other parent.
The Most Common Reasons for False Allegations
In addition to bitter divorce proceedings and child custody disputes, suggestive or leading questioning by police officers or other authority figures can also be responsible for false accusations of sexual abuse, particularly child sexual abuse. Other possible scenarios included false memories which are intentionally placed by an unscrupulous therapist, an out-of-control teenager seeking revenge or a younger child who is engaging in blatant attention seeking. When divorced parents subsequently begin dating new romantic partners a child may react in jealousy and anger and make false accusations of sexual abuse as a way of “getting back” at the adults. In the same vein, when new stepparents attempt to enforce discipline boundaries the children may react with resentment and may make false allegations in retaliation. Drug or alcohol abuse by the falsely accused person or by the young person making the allegations can also result in false allegations and shattered lives.
What You Should Not Do if You Have Been Accused of Sexual Abuse of a Minor
As with virtually any criminal charges, but particularly in this instance you should absolutely not speak to a police officer, CPS worker or any other employee from an agency who could later testify against you until you have retained an experienced criminal defense attorney. By the same token, refrain from confiding in friends or relatives without prior approval from your attorney. Most particularly do not attempt to talk to the alleged victim, even though your strongest instinct may be pushing you to ask them why they would make such accusations against you. What you say in a moment of shock and frustration can come back to haunt you for a very long time. Understandably you are reeling from the false accusations, however remain as calm as possible and only tell those questioning you that you have done nothing wrong but cannot speak to them until your attorney is present. Although social workers and police ostensibly are conducting a fair and impartial investigation in reality they are merely seeking evidence to put you in prison.
Why You Should Not Attempt to Handle Such Accusations on Your Own
While you may be tempted to simply ride out the storm, thinking that because the accusations are untrue, the truth will eventually come out and you will be vindicated do not do this! A knowledgeable attorney who has prior experience in false accusations of sexual abuse will understand the necessary steps in analyzing the evidence and following the rules of evidence while defending your rights intelligently and aggressively. Don’t let false allegations of sexual abuse destroy your life and land you in prison, rather take the necessary precautions to safeguard your future.
While rape is an extremely serious accusation and charge, sometimes rape accusations can occur when one party has had too much to drink and behaves in a way they might not ordinarily do, then in the cold light of day leaps to the conclusion they must have been raped. False allegations of date rape are also fairly common and can obviously be humiliating and have long-term consequences for the person who has been falsely accused. Others who have been accused of sexual misconduct following a night of drinking may have no memory of what happened the night before, or may have gotten signals crossed or exceeded their normal boundaries.
In other cases a teenaged female may consent to having sex with an older boyfriend, then become afraid of her parents finding out and without thinking cries “rape.” Once the word rape is spoken aloud, it can never be taken back, and for the person accused that word can effectively turn their life upside down. Adult accusations of rape can be a response to being caught in a compromising position by their spouse or partner, or simple remorse or regret after a night of drinking. Finally, in some unfortunate cases the accuser simply wants to “get even” for a real or perceived affront, and cries rape as a form of revenge.
Quite often in the case of date rape the question is not whether sexual contact took place, rather whether it was consensual. Police officers tend to take the word of the accuser without conducting a full blown investigation to determine whether there are other issues at play behind the allegations. The accusation of rape almost always brings an emotional response from those hearing the accusations. Remember that if you have been accused of rape, it is imperative you not speak to anyone until you have retained the services of an experienced criminal defense attorney. Exercise your right to remain silent—it can truly mean the difference between your freedom and a conviction. State to the police officer politely that while you are innocent of the crime you are being charged with, you will not speak to anyone until you have spoken with your attorney. This is your right and one you should never, under any circumstances, waive.
Defense Against False Allegations of Date Rape
You will need a highly aggressive attorney who isn’t afraid to cause waves in your defense and who will launch a thorough investigation on your behalf. The credibility of the person making the false allegations must be challenged, and a private investigator will likely be brought in to locate potentially reluctant witnesses and obtain the information your accuser might prefer remain hidden. Remember that rape allegations can literally take on a life of their own which is another reason you must not speak to anyone except your attorney regarding the details of your case—even to close friends or family members—without the approval of your attorney. Your attorney may choose to hire a forensic mental health expert who will examine the case against you for weakness, factual errors or police misconduct.
Allegations of rape are particularly hard to combat, primarily because it is considered politically incorrect to question the truthfulness of the woman crying rape. Unfortunately, this failure to consider that the accuser could be lying takes away the presumption of innocence from the person who is being falsely accused. Since sex crimes are among the few crimes which do not require corroborating evidence for a conviction, and a conviction can even occur when there are no witnesses and no physical evidence, the case can come down to the credibility of the accused vs. the credibility of the accuser. Don’t leave your future to chance, and take accusations of rape with the seriousness they deserve. Get a knowledgeable criminal defense attorney on board immediately and work with him or her to protect your future life.
If you’ve been charged with robbery, it is imperative that you find a highly experienced criminal defense attorney to get on board as soon as possible. There are several different categories of robbery charges, some which are much graver than others, however all robbery charges should be taken with the utmost seriousness. In the simplest terms the charge of robbery requires proof that one person took something belonging to another person, that the taking of that item or items was either taken in the presence of the person it belonged to or actually from their person, that it was taken against the will of the other person and that force was either used or threatened in order to take the item or items. In some states such as California, a robbery conviction can be counted under the Three Strikes Law, making it doubly important to take the charges seriously and have representation before you appear in court.
How Does Burglary Differ from Robbery?
Burglary occurs when a person enters a building or vehicle with an intention to commit a felony—any felony, not necessarily theft. First degree burglary occurs when a person enters a residence with the clear intent to commit a felony and can be counted as a strike under the Three Strikes Law while a second degree burglary conviction is usually not counted under this law. Robbery, on the other hand is stealing something from someone through violence or the threat of violence. If no threat of violence is present, then the crime can be charged—depending on the circumstances—under lesser charges of theft, larceny or grand larceny.
Aggravated and Armed Robbery Charges
Aggravated robbery is generally a class 3 felony—depending on where you live—and may be charged in the event you were aided in the robbery with other accomplices. Armed robbery requires that the person being charged used a deadly weapon or simulated the use of a deadly weapon, threatening those who were being robbed with the weapon. A conviction of armed robbery will usually bring a prison sentence ranging from seven to 21 years, although in some rare instances probation may be granted—a definite benefit of hiring the most knowledgeable criminal defense attorney.
What to Do if You’ve Been Charged with Robbery
First and foremost if you’ve been arrested and charged with any crime, it is almost never to your advantage to talk to anyone prior to retaining an attorney. While almost everyone in America has seen a television show where the police officer advises the suspect of their right to remain silent, few people follow this practice in real life—or on television. Remember, however, the people on television get to go home while you may not if you don’t remain silent until you can speak with an attorney.
Most people believe they can “talk their way out of it,” and attempt to explain their position to the police officer. In almost every single case, what comes out of a suspect’s mouth will return to bite them and their statements can and will be used against them. Robbery is a serious, violent offence and the potential penalties could include significant amounts of prison time. Your attorney will carefully consider the factors in your specific case including whether a weapon was used, if there were injuries to victims, if you have prior convictions, if you have ever been related in any gang activity, the location of your alleged crime, the witness credibility, evidence strength and whether any mistakes were made by the police during your arrest.
Kansas Criminal Lawyer for Drug Charges
If you have been pulled over on I-70 and found yourself facing serious charges, call me now and set up a time to discuss your case.
I-70 is an interstate highway that crosses most of the nation, stretching from central Utah almost to the sands of Maryland's east coast, with the states of Colorado and Kansas in its path. Geary County and Riley County, both near Junction City, Kansas, have recently been in the news for their high number of traffic stops resulting in confiscation of illegal drugs and money, most leading to felony charges and convictions.
The Sheriff's Departments in these counties are pros, and they know that the I-70 corridor coming out of Colorado is ripe for drug convictions. Paired with sharp and aggressive State prosecution, they are a team you do not want to take on alone.