What to do if the police entered my dorm room when I was at home and took a weed pipe?

They came back 2 days later and arrested me without reading my rights. I go to court in 3 days. Do I have rights to let the judge know that they entered without a warrant and did not read my rights?

Asked on January 26, 2013 under Criminal Law, Michigan

Answers:

B.H.F., Member, Texas State Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 7 years ago | Contributor

You do have the right to let the judge know when a search is illegal-- but you have to do so in the correct form and at the correct time. 

If by "going to court," you mean that you have a first setting, then you should ask the court for a court appointed attorney if you cannot afford one to help you file a motion to suppress (which is essentially a written objection to the search).  What you describe is a pre-trial matter which a defendant is usually required to make in writing.  After you file a formal objection to the search of your dorm, the court will then set your case for a hearing.  If you don't argue your issues properly, the judge can overrule your motion and the appellate courts will back him.  You could potentially do it on your own, but you are risking blowing this opportunity to have the evidence thrown out by a procedural technicality if you do not present the issue correctly.

If by "going to court" you mean that you are set for trial, then you need to request a continuance so that you can file a pre-trial "motion to suppress" and find an attorney (appointed or retained) to help you with your pleadings.  Once you have an attorney, you can proceed as described above.  If the judge denies your request for an attorney and a continuance, make sure that you formally state that you are objecting to the court requiring you to move forward without counsel.  This objection will help you file an appeal, should you be found guilty of the allegations.


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