What to do if I was arrested while shopping in a grocery store for “public intoxication”?

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What to do if I was arrested while shopping in a grocery store for “public intoxication”?

I was not showing any outward signs of being intoxicated. Head cashier told me later that I was acting normally. The cops entered the store searching for me according to her. They asked her if there was a back way out of the store. As I was checking out they got on both sides of me and forced me to take a breathalyzer test. I was not read my rights. I believe that a woman that I was with earlier in the evening called the police and made up lies about me in order to cause trouble for me. I subpoenaed the call that was made to the dispatcher and the prosecution quashed my access to the call. How can I get that information? Isn’t withholding evidence illegal?

Asked on April 23, 2013 under Criminal Law, Virginia

Answers:

MD, Member, California Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 9 years ago | Contributor

Sounds like you have possible constitutional issues. You need a lawyer. Were you read Miranda at any point in your arrest? If not, you can get the entire charge dismissed. Was the cashier around whle you shopped? If so, you need to get a copy of the video from the store that day and your lawyer needs to inteview that cashier. The bottom line is if you met the elements of the public intoxication crime, then you could still be arrested.  However, it sounds as if the police did not follow protocol.  This is unless of course there was imminent danger of harm then that might be the reason why your access was quashed.


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