Can police charge you with something they forgot to charge you with after you bonded yourself out of jail?

I have a friend who has Crohns disease. He hardley gets enough sleep because he is contantly on the move working. He fell asleep at the wheel in the middle of the road with his foot on the break. The cops came and woke him up and then searched through his car. They found particles of weed and charged him with that. My friend was in jail for 2 days until he bonded himself out. Then 4 days later a cop stopped him and said there is a warrent for his arrest. It seems they forgot to charge him with reckless driving, so instead of charging him with 2 things at once, they only charged him with 1 and now they are trying to get him for the second. Can they do this? If they forgot at the time isn’t it their loss?

Asked on March 18, 2012 under Criminal Law, Georgia


Kevin Bessant / Law Office of Kevin Bessant & Associates

Answered 8 years ago | Contributor

Your friend may want to speak with a criminal defense attorney in your area to challenge the charging of the reckless driving. Typically, for police stops such as your friend's, the officer has to have probable cause to make a traffic stop ( i.e. reckless driving or being sleep at the wheel), and then under certain conditions he has a legal right to search the car. After his arrest, he should have been cited for both the possession of marijuana and reckless driving on one citation or charging document. To arrest him two days later only to charge him with something he should have been charged with days prior to the stop seems suspect to me. Again, have your friend speak with a criminal attorney in his area for further direction in this matter.

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