Lesson 2: Running from the Law – Failure to Identify
In Lesson 1 PC learned the hard way that running from the cops lead to his arrest and needless to say it also soured his relationship with his step-dad when the pick-up truck was forfeited to the state as a means of the crime.
My friend and client, Parker County Roadrunner, who I call PC, was recently involved in yet another adventure. This time with the Sheriff’s Department. PC was in a car that was stopped for speeding in Weatherford. PC was the passenger and just sat chill as the office approached the vehicle. The officer “smelled marijuana” as the driver spoke. The officer asked a few questions and asked the driver to get out of the car. Another deputy sheriff arrived on scene and asked PC to get out of the car to ask a few questions. As PC was getting out of the car, he was already making a plan. PC knew he was doing nothing wrong on this evening, but he also knew there was a warrant out for his arrest and the sheriff was looking for him.
The driver gave the deputies permission to search the vehicle. Driver knew there was no contraband in the car. But the deputy who was about the search the vehicle told the driver, I need to pat you down for my safety. During the pat down, he felt in the front pocket what from his experience and training felt to be contraband – the marijuana.
So the drugs are on driver’s person and during the search of the car found no contraband in the vehicle. PC is looking good to go. But he has a warrant for his own possession of marijuana charge. So PC decides to give the deputies his brother’s name and date of birth. PC and his brother are close enough in age and appearance that when his brother’s information is returned, PC is free to go. Winning. Right?
Well PC was picked up on his warrant about a week later . . . by the same deputy sheriff who happened to initiate the stop a week before. Suddenly PC had a new charge for a failure to identify.
Section 38.02 of the Texas Penal Code provides that a person commits an offense if he intentionally gives a false or fictitious name, residence address, or date of birth to a peace officer who has lawfully detained the person. PC was facing 180 days in jail on a class B misdemeanor.
Sometimes a client is smart enough to know they will not do well on probation. It would take 24 months of probation to work through these two cases. Because of a prior history, the county attorney was not willing to give PC any deal that ended with anything less than a conviction on his record. PC knew he would not make probation. So we worked a plea deal with the county attorney for a sentence of 90 days in the county jail. PC was actually a good inmate, made trustee status, and served only 30 days.
A good defense attorney knows that the best deal for one client may not be the right deal for another. If you are facing a criminal charge you need an attorney who will listen to what you need. Call me, Andrew Decker at 817-441-1629.