Argument in Parking Lot Turns into Prescription Drug Charges

On June 20 just before 5:45 p.m., a 42-year-old Florida resident become embroiled in an incident with a woman in the parking lot of a convenience store in Okeechobee. According to authorities, the man reportedly parked his car near the woman’s parked vehicle, and when he went to exit his vehicle, his car door hit the driver’s side door of the woman’s car. The woman reportedly told him to be more careful, and the man allegedly responded by cursing at her.

As the man continued to yell, the woman turned away and entered the store. It is claimed that he continued the verbal onslaught, despite the store clerk asking him to leave, until police were called. The man was taken into custody for disorderly conduct, a misdemeanor. However, when he was booked at the jail, officers claim to have found clonazepam, a Schedule IV controlled substance, in the man’s pocket. He now also faces a drug charge for bringing narcotics into a jail. It was not stated whether or not he has a prescription.

The man cooperated when he was told that police had been called by going outside and awaiting their arrival. He initially told police that he did not have drugs on him. When confronted with the drugs, police allege that the man claimed to have forgotten about them. It was not stated whether the man was informed of his Miranda rights prior to being asked about the drugs.

When police interrogate a person in custody, they must first inform him of his right to remain silent and is right to have an attorney present during questioning. When police fail to observe this Constitutional requirement, a criminal defense attorney may be able to argue to have any subsequent statements suppressed so they may not be used as evidence.

Source: Florida Newszap, “Parking lot rant leads to felony drug charge in Okeechobee “, Eric Kopp, June 21, 2013


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