Tales from the Brown Desk – Episode 26 – Drug Possession in Indiana, Role of Criminal Defense Attorneys, & Florida Man
Weekly Criminal Law Podcast, Tales from the Brown Desk, brought to you by Rigney Law LLC. Tales from the Brown Desk is a free flowing conversation involving two foul-mouthed attorneys. It may include graphic descriptions of sexual activity, violence, and traffic law. It may not be suitable for children. Listener discretion advised.
Episode 26. In this episode, Indianapolis criminal defense attorneys, Jacob Rigney and Kassi Rigney, talk about drug possession charges in Indiana, the role of a criminal defense attorney, and of course the latest Florida Man news.
Jacob Rigney – It’s Friday afternoon. We’ve locked the door because I’m refreshing the vote numbers on Pennsylvania and Georgia every 20 seconds, so I can’t possibly be expected to do any actual work right now. And also because it’s time for another edition of our weekly podcast, Tales from the Brown Desk. I’m Jake Rigney of Rigney Law LLC. With me as usual as my law partner, wife, and the lady who went vegetarian just in time to avoid cooking me that yummy Thanksgiving turkey I want, Kassi Rigney. Teri Ulm is our host, manager, topic selector, Florida Man monitor, email screener, and the only genuine human who’s ever actually appeared on the show. Friendly reminder, Tales from the Brown Desk is a free flowing conversation involving two foul mouth attorneys. It may include graphic descriptions of sexual activity, violence, and very loud protests about the stupid memes that people send out saying that people are going to hand out drugs for Halloween candy. That’s just stupid. People who use drugs don’t give their drugs away to kids. People had to go through a somewhat harrowing process of cultivating a relationship with a drug dealer, getting the money to purchase the drugs, buying the drugs from some paranoid dude that might or might not also be on drugs, and who also might or might not kill you. Also, most drug users loathes themselves for using drugs, but can’t stop because they’re so addicted that it overcomes their instincts of self preservation. They aren’t trying to get random neighborhood kids into the same mess they got themselves into. That’s stupid. Stop sharing that meme! This podcast may not be suitable for children, drug users, job recruiters, or the people that could interview us to do regular jobs after the second wave of the Coronavirus demolishes our economy. Here’s Teri.
Teri Ulm – Hello, everyone. Hi, Jake. How are you today?
Jacob Rigney – Oh, I’m not feeling too well. So Kassi is going to do a lot of talking today.
Teri Ulm – Oh, good. Hi, Kassi. How are you?
Kassi Rigney – Hi, Teri. I’m fine.
Teri Ulm – Good. So in the last episode of Tales from the Brown Desk, we talked about theft, burglary, and robbery. We also talked about a pharmaceutical company that recently pled guilty to criminal charges. This week, we’re going to talk about drugs. More specifically, the possession of drugs in Indiana. And we’re also going to touch on the role of a criminal defense attorney. But before we begin, we have two listener questions.
Jacob Rigney – Two listener questions?
Kassi Rigney – Wow. Thank you, listeners.
Jacob Rigney – That’s awesome. Thank you for making our job easier. Give us free content, suckers.
Teri Ulm – So, the first question comes from a listener who wants to remain anonymous.
Jacob Rigney – Unacceptable. I demand their name, and their location.
Teri Ulm – A.
Jacob Rigney – Okay.
If I Know a Crime Happened, Do I Have an Obligation to Report it? And, if I Don’t, Can I Get in Trouble?
Teri Ulm – Their question is: if you know a crime happened, do you have an obligation to report it, and if you don’t, can you get in trouble?
Kassi Rigney – There’s only one crime that you’d be required to report and that’s child abuse. Other than that, no.
Jacob Rigney – Yeah. You do have to report child abuse. It’s a misdemeanor if you don’t report it, and the statute of limitations kind of never actually starts running on it either because there’s some weird rules regarding it. So it’s important, if somebody reports having been abused as a child, you’re required to report that. Otherwise, there’s no obligation for you to report. Although, generally good people report crimes when they see him.
Kassi Rigney – Yeah, I think this came around because when it comes to child abuse, people in society have a tendency if they see something questionable, at least historically, had left that to the family. And I suspect that this law came about because they want people to turn information over to authorities to follow up. And not having lay people making decisions. So hopefully, if a child needs some help, it can get there.
Is it Illegal to Install Spy Software on Someone Else’s Phone?
Teri Ulm – Our next listener question comes from a guy that goes by the name of B. B resides here in Indianapolis, and he wants to know, is it illegal to install spy software on someone else’s phone?
Jacob Rigney – I don’t know… The answer is… So, I’m not certain, as you can tell, because I just said I don’t know. Probably. It is probably illegal. My gut tells me that it is illegal to do that. And I know there are some computer hacker laws in Indiana, and that would probably qualify, but computers are the kind of thing where it’s very fact specific and sort of depends on how it all happened, but that’s probably illegal.
What is the Definition of Drug Possession?
Teri Ulm – And now we’re gonna move on to the topics of the day, and we’re going to start with drug possession. What is the definition of possession?
Kassi Rigney – In Indiana, there’s two types of possession. There’s actual and constructive possession. Actual, I no longer have actual committed memory, it’s under your direct physical control. I don’t think that’s the actual words that the law uses, but it’s in your pocket. It’s in your hand. And then we have constructive possession. Constructive possession means that it’s not on your person, but they look to the surrounding circumstances. They look to, is it in plain view? Is it within your arm span? Is it immediately apparent to be contraband? Who else has access to that space? Is it commingled with the person’s other personal property? Are there statements or actions by the person surrounding that item that tend to indicate knowledge?
Jacob Rigney – She’s pretty smart, isn’t she?
How Would the State Prove Constructive Possession?
Teri Ulm – She is. Now, how would the state prove constructive possession?
Kassi Rigney – Well, and this is where it comes down. And people call and their… it is what it is. And no. The finder-of-fact would decide. There’s two sides to every story. So oftentimes, let’s say drugs are found inside a vehicle that the accused is driving. The things you go to trial and the pieces of evidence that would be put in front of the jury, like who’s the car registered to? Where there any movements by the driver or the accused towards the location of the item? Was it in plain view? Is it easily visible? Or was it hidden somewhere? What were the circumstances of that? Was there other personal property there? Was there anybody else in the car? And then the person who decides that, is that enough, is the finder-of-fact. That’s how you prove it. And these things, there’s not a check three of the seven. In some cases, one might be enough. In other cases, you may have six, and the person may be found not guilty. If it was, how do they prove it? That’s what they do. They tell the story, and they lay the circumstances down, and the question is, is that enough? Are you firmly convinced that that person possessed it?
Two Different People Can Possess the Same Drugs at the Same Time
Jacob Rigney – It reminds me of a couple of common misconceptions that I hear fairly often when talking to folks. One is a lot of people don’t realize this, but two different people can possess the same drugs at the same time.
Teri Ulm – Interesting.
Jacob Rigney – Right. You would think that if you know if I’m possessing it, then you aren’t.
Teri Ulm – Right.
Jacob Rigney – Right. But that’s not how it works under the law.
Teri Ulm – If it was a joint we’re passing around, I understand, but…
Jacob Rigney – Right. Well, look, if we’re in a drug dealing conspiracy together, and one of us has got the cocaine and not the other one, it doesn’t matter, we’re really still both exerting control over it. So we’re both possessing it. And it’s the same if it’s like a joint we’re all smoking. It doesn’t matter whose hand it is when the police kick the door in if we’re sitting around a table smoking a joint, then we’re both possessing the marijuana, regardless. Another thing is that people often confuse possession with ownership. And that is not the same.
Difference Between Possession and Ownership
Teri Ulm – It’s not nine-tenths of the law?
Jacob Rigney – I don’t know if it’s nine tenths of the law or not. There’s no law that says that, by the way. That’s just something somebody who didn’t have a law degree said. But I can possess a thing, even if I don’t own it.
Teri Ulm – How?
Jacob Rigney – If Kassi has a gun…
Teri Ulm – I posses her mask now.
Jacob Rigney – Right? So…
Kassi Rigney – And I’m very sorry. I after I tossed that to you, I realized, oh my god. I just threw the Pilgrim blanket, right?
Jacob Rigney – Smallpox blanket. Pilgrim blanket? What are you talking about?
Kassi Rigney – That was exactly what I was thinking about. What the Pilgrims did to the Indians.
Jacob Rigney – Let me explain the hate crime that I just saw. You guys realize we’re not on TV, right? So nobody else can see what you just did. So while I’m trying to explain how you can possess something without owning it, Kassi takes her mask and throws it at Teri.
Teri Ulm – That has a skull on it, mind you.
Jacob Rigney – Right? The mask she’s been breathing in all day. Then Teri has it in her hand, because she’s like, oh, a mask just hit me. So that is Kassi’s mask. Kassi owns it, but you are possessing it there for a moment. Just long enough to sue us over it later. Then we went on to make some very culturally inappropriate jokes about smallpox and Indians. And that was awesome, too. So now we’re all back up to speed.
Kassi Rigney – Was it not clear that I think that that was a bad thing?
Jacob Rigney – I’m joking. Just making jokes. Anyhow, so yeah. Ownership and possession are different. And now you know, that.
Teri Ulm – I do.
Kassi Rigney – Well that’s the thing. Anything. Yeah, but ownership comes in, like you can intend to possess that, that’s still mine. I’m probably still in possession of it. Even though you have it, even though because it’s mine.
Jacob Rigney – Yeah, that was the thing you were both possessing at the same time there for a moment. And then as soon as you gave it back to her, only she possessed it again. But she could see it. It was right there. She has the ability to reach out and control it, and she intends to. So she was still possessing it, even after she threw it at you.
Kassi Rigney – It’s always funny. People think there’s these… You know, the Dukes of Hazzard started if you could make it past that state line. There’s this magic line and if you make it, it’s a free for all. And people like to…
Jacob Rigney – It was actually the county line. It wasn’t even the state line. Dukes of Hazzard was so stupid. It was literally like, if you can just get across the line into the next county, then the cops can’t chase you. That is so dumb. That is not true. You will not escape the police if you manage to make it to the county line.
Kassi Rigney – Oh. The county line.
Teri Ulm – No.
Kassi Rigney – There is virtually nothing in the law that actually works that way. But yeah, people leaving possessions in somebody else’s car and coming in and say it’s mine, but I don’t own it. That’s not what we look at. The fact that it is owned by somebody else is one thing to consider, but it’s certainly not a controlling factor.
Drugs and Controlled Substances
Teri Ulm – Now, are drugs considered the same thing as a controlled substance? Are those words used interchangeably?
Kassi Rigney – Yeah. Any drug is ultimately a controlled substance.
Teri Ulm – And then how would you define a controlled substance? Just a drug?
Kassi Rigney – No. The controlled substances is dictated by the control. And that’s the government controlling it. If it’s a substance controlled by the government, then it’s a controlled substance.
Jacob Rigney – Any substance where the government is passed a regulation to control its possession, use, or prescription is a controlled substance. So heroin, but also Viagra. Anything you need a prescription from a doctor for is also a controlled substance along with lots of things that you can’t get from a doctor, like cocaine.
Is Drug Possession a Felony or a Misdemeanor?
Teri Ulm – Now is drug possession a felony or a misdemeanor, and does the type of charge depend on the type of drug and the amount of drug?
Kassi Rigney – I hardly ever saw, even as a drug prosecutor, legend drugs. I think those are probably misdemeanors. Those are things you couldn’t get high on. But they would be maybe a prescription that wasn’t to you, but not something. Again, that you wouldn’t get high on. The only misdemeanor possession is marijuana. Everything else is felonies. It starts low and goes up depending on the weight.
Which Controlled Substance or Drug is it Worst to Get Caught With?
Teri Ulm – Out of the controlled substances, which is the worst to have as far as charges coming at you?
Kassi Rigney – Anything that’s considered a schedule I are the worst.
Teri Ulm – Can you tell me some examples of a schedule I substance? That other people would know?
Kassi Rigney – Cocaine, heroin, methamphetamine. The big ones. I mean, the big ones are that. The thing that’s out of whack, is that they also have marijuana as still categorized as a schedule I, which is ridiculous. But all the other ones.
Teri Ulm – And alcohols not… Is that a controlled substance?
Jacob Rigney – Technically, it is because we control who can purchase it.
Teri Ulm – Right.
Jacob Rigney – But it’s not a schedule I substance.
Is Possession of Someone Else’s Prescription a Crime?
Teri Ulm – Now is being in possession of someone else’s prescription a crime?
Kassi Rigney – Maybe.
Jacob Rigney – It is, if you stole it.
Teri Ulm – Well, what if they gave it to me? What if they gave it to Chad? Not me.
Kassi Rigney – Well, this is where you have to look at the circumstances, because we know I could go pick up grandma’s pain meds and transport them back to her. And if I got traffic stopped, those are not my drugs. But this is where discretion comes in, and a hard reading of the law. No, I’m not supposed to. There’s a legitimate basis, and my intention was not to consume it. So you’ll look at it. The thing is, is it just one pill in your pocket, and you got it in a bunch of little jewelry bags? They’re charging people who have their drugs in user or I guess abuser looking circumstances.
Jacob Rigney – Right. If I picked up grandma’s pain pills and took them home, and got stopped, in theory I could be charged with the crime for that. I’ve never seen anyone actually get charged with a crime for that. If you’re going to go pick up grandma’s pain pills, and they’ll give them to you, just don’t open them. You don’t open even the outer package, much less the inner package. And then if they say, well, why do you have pain pills? And you say I’m taking them to grandma. I’ve never seen anyone get charged in that situation, and I don’t think Kassi has either. Could they? Yeah. Are all police out to charge everything they find? No, they’re not. And I don’t think I’ve ever seen anyone get charged like. Has that as it happened? I bet it has. Probably somewhere in the country.
Can I be Charged with Possession for Having Expired Prescriptions?
Teri Ulm – Now still on prescriptions here. Let’s say this is a controlled drug and somebody has prescribed it and it expires, can you be charged with it a drug crime if you have a expired prescription?
Kassi Rigney – No. I mean, it was still lawfully dispensed to you, so the fact that it’s expired… The expiration date doesn’t have anything… That has to do with the quality of the production and like your expectation of what you’re getting when they put that use by date, or the quality is guaranteed here. That has absolutely no connection to the lawfulness of its possession.
Can a Drug Possession Charge Result in a Driver’s License Suspension?
Teri Ulm – Can possession of a drug result in a driver’s license suspension?
Jacob Rigney – It used to used to be that if you got caught with a controlled substance or marijuana in your car, they could also suspend your driver’s license. But they did away with that law a few years ago. Every now and then I still see it on old driving records, when we’re going back through people’s records from the aughts and the 90s, and stuff, but they do not typically issue new suspensions these days for those type of offenses. Although you have to remember exactly what question you asked. So the answer is, if you get caught with a DUI, yes. They do suspend your license. But if they just pull you over possessing drugs, I don’t think they suspend your license anymore for that.
What is Considered Paraphernalia?
Teri Ulm – And now we’re gonna touch on paraphernalia. I assume those charges are often accompanied with drug possession charges. What’s the definition of paraphernalia?
Kassi Rigney – It’s a tool or utensil used to introduce a controlled substance into one’s body.
Jacob Rigney – Yeah, the statute actually, I think, says any device just anything, basically.
Teri Ulm – So it could be a straw?
Jacob Rigney – If you’re going to use it to smoke meth, yeah. Then it’s paraphernalia.
Kassi Rigney – Or snort cocaine.
Jacob Rigney – A dollar bill could be paraphernalia.
Teri Ulm – Wow. $1 bill could be.
Jacob Rigney – Sure.
Kassi Rigney – A properly tooled apple.
Jacob Rigney – Right. What’s the toilet paper roll? That’s paraphernalia if you know how to use it.
Kassi Rigney – Okay, so I have a friend of mine who has teenagers in his home, and one of them was caught smoking marijuana. And in the interrogation regarding this, like I can obviously smell it, while they tried to do the toilet paper roll, but they were just blowing it through the tube in the middle of the roll. Like they didn’t shove the dryer-sheet. They were just blowing it through the tube. And I think I want to say it in the morning or sometime. He’s just working on the houses horrible smell upon like overcomes the things. Like what going on?
Jacob Rigney – Yeah, for those of you don’t know, there are two different ways you can use the toilet paper. One is you can actually use it to make a little makeshift pipe usually with some aluminum foil. And then use that to smoke the marijuana or for other enterprising smokers who already have those apparatuses but are worried about the smell, you put a dryer sheet inside a toilet paper roll and blow the smoke out through the toilet paper roll in the dryer sheet. And the smell gets erased by the dryer sheet and it just smells like you were doing laundry. That’ll fool some people. But you have to actually do that.
Teri Ulm – You have to put the dryer sheets in the roll.
Kassi Rigney – They are teenagers, you know, senior in high school. Something.
Jacob Rigney – Yeah. You live and learn.
Kassi Rigney – You do.
Jacob Rigney – Hopefully no one got arrested.
Kassi Rigney – Oh no. No one got arrested.
Jacob Rigney – That’s good. No one should get arrested. That’s a lecture is what you should get out of.
Kassi Rigney – The follow up, I grew up in Michigan. That was a Michigan story. Something about because the smoking age in Michigan’s like 21 but they legalized marijuana. So if you’re 19, quick throw out the cigarette, light a joint. You can recreational smoke, but…
Teri Ulm – At 18, but not…
Kassi Rigney – Yeah, that was the the meme. I assume that it’s 18.
What is the Stiffest Penalty for Drug Possession Charges?
Teri Ulm – Now in regards to the penalties for drug possession charges, what’s like the stiffest penalty you’ve ever seen?
Kassi Rigney – You can go to prison.
Teri Ulm – For how long?
Kassi Rigney – It depends on whatever level of the charge is.
Jacob Rigney – 40 years.
Teri Ulm – 40 years?
Jacob Rigney – 40 to 30.
Teri Ulm – No one’s getting the death penalty, right?
Kassi Rigney – No.
Teri Ulm – Okay. Or spending life in prison?
Jacob Rigney – No, and when I was describing was dealing to. Possession might stop at a 4.
Kassi Rigney – It might, but if they added the habitual on to you or something you start getting longer.
Jacob Rigney – Yeah. 32 with a level 4, plus the habitual 32 to 24.
What are the Penalties for Possession of Drug Paraphernalia?
Teri Ulm – And then what about the penalties for possession drug paraphernalia? I’m assuming that is less than actually possessing the drug itself, but I don’t know.
Kassi Rigney – Is the highest? To be honest, I haven’t actually had one of those cases, at least not as a lead charge since earlier in my prosecution career. Can it still be advanced to a D felony with a prior?
Jacob Rigney – I don’t… I don’t think so. Once upon a time, maybe it could. But these days, I think that doesn’t go above a misdemeanor. You know, we just don’t see a lot of paraphernalia cases anymore, to be honest. And I don’t really know why that is either. It might just be because they reduced the penalty so much that, like, they don’t care about charging it anymore.
Kassi Rigney – Well, I wonder. Usually when I see it from an evidence standpoint, if the paraphernalia is a syringe, that’s like hazardous waste, so they’re not going to want to…
Jacob Rigney – I forgot about that. That’s a level 6, possession of a syringe.
Teri Ulm – So this possession on the syringe is interesting, considering that could be a crime. Aren’t there like places you can go in Indiana and get new syringes or turn your syringes in?
Jacob Rigney – Yes, but they don’t ask you what you’re going to do with it.
Kassi Rigney – Well, that’s where it’s just in there are lawful reasons for people to possess syringes. And this is where you look to the circumstances. And as much as it pains drug users to hear this, it is fairly easy for a non drug user to identify a user versus a diabetic. I think that there are users of heavy drugs and intravenous drugs who have a tendency to think that people don’t get it and don’t see it. And I don’t think there’s anything that is a casual intravenous drug user, and, you don’t always get, well, anybody could have it. Well, you look like a fucking doper, man.
Jacob Rigney – Classic advice from Kassi. You look like a doper, man. Well, I’m going to give it to you straight, brutally honest. That’s the kind of lawyer you want.
What are Defenses for Drug Possession Charges in Indiana?
Teri Ulm – Yes. What are some possible defenses to drug possession charges?
Jacob Rigney – I don’t own it.
Kassi Rigney – Not my pants. Sorry. I had to throw that out there. That’s been a running joke forever. If it’s on your person, it can be difficult. But that’s where I think Lindsay Lohan was the first one who made national headlines with the they’re not my pants, defense. But when it comes to constructive possession, there’s a lot of room to work there. Because as I laid it out, the classic thing is you’re driving in a car, and there’s something that’s in there. Is it your car or is not your car? And there seems to be a lot of people who drive cars that do not belong to them. And the state always wants to be like, well, it was in there. It was on the floor of the driver’s side. If you’ve ever borrowed someone’s car, did you ever search it?
Teri Ulm – No.
Kassi Rigney – And unless it was pristine, you wouldn’t take note of any particular item.
Jacob Rigney – Right. The last, the last drug trial I did was a constructive possession case. And it’s over. He was found not guilty, so there’s no reason not to talk about it. And that was exactly what happened. There was a tub of marijuana and a Tupperware container under the passenger chair of the car. And the passenger in the car got charged with possessing it, and our argument was, it’s not his car. He didn’t look under the seat. He doesn’t know what’s in there. And the judge found there was reasonable doubt on that and found him not guilty.
Teri Ulm – Nice. Yeah, I usually don’t look under people’s seats when I get in their cars to make sure I won’t get charged with crime. That’d be odd.
Jacob Rigney – It’d be kind of rude.
Teri Ulm – Right.
Jacob Rigney – Like I’m going to go, I need… because then like, if you’re a passenger, you can get charged with what’s in the glove box too, because it’s right there in front of you. So now I got to look through your glove box and under your and in all the console? No. You don’t do that. You’re just thankful you got a ride.
How Long do Drug Cases Last in Indiana?
Teri Ulm – Right. Now, how long does the typical drug case last?
Kassi Rigney – None of them are typically.
Teri Ulm – Right.
Kassi Rigney – I would say the length of any given case. And I wouldn’t say necessarily murders last longer, child molest, those things. But drug possession, generally, they’re not that complicated. Six months. Four to eight months.
Teri Ulm – So they move along pretty fast?
Kassi Rigney – Yeah. Most of these things shouldn’t be taking a year anyway.
Jacob Rigney – Yeah, the bigger slowdown is the Court. And that’s not a criticism of the Court. There’s just… In Marion County in particular, they have way too many cases in their drug courts. And now they’ve done away with their drug court, so it’s all getting spread back out. But there’s just too many cases for the system. And so the the bigger slowdown, especially if you have a public defender, is getting everyone ready. The case shouldn’t take that long, but finding a courtroom and a judge, and two attorneys who are all ready to do it turns into the challenge when they’re all dealing with 10,000 cases a year.
The Role of a Criminal Defense Attorney and Their Superhero Capes
Teri Ulm – Now we’re gonna move on to our next topic, the role of a criminal defense attorney. And I kind of wanted to talk about this just to clear up some misconceptions, because I feel that a lot of people think that criminal defense attorneys come with these super powers that they can stop the cops and tell the court and just do things that it’s just not possible for them to do. So can you explain to the listeners, what’s the role of a criminal defense attorney, and what powers do you have?
Kassi Rigney – Well, ultimately, we are a representative and an advocate. Hiring an attorney doesn’t change your position with regards to the players. It doesn’t change your power in regards to that triangle of power, because it’s you and the state are at the same footing. You’re the opposing parties, and then the judge is basically the referee. You don’t control the court’s calendar. Just being a defense attorney, I can’t call up the cops and tell them stop your investigation. I’m going to challenge that search warrant. Don’t take that blood. The classic scene of somebody gets pulled off the street into an interrogation room and their family gets wind of it, and sends the attorney down to bust in and say stop questioning my client. That’s not realistic.
Teri Ulm – But it happens on TV all the time.
Jacob Rigney – It does. And, Kassi did leave out one important power that all defense attorneys have, and that’s the X ray vision. Because that’s the thing…
Kassi Rigney – Shhhhhhhhhhhh.
Jacob Rigney – … that we all have. So that’s awesome.
Kassi Rigney – So, we’re an advocate, and the role is to represent that person. We are the ones that know how to maneuver the system in an appropriate way, in an efficient way, and lawful way.
Jacob Rigney – Maneuver is a funny word. It’s spelled funny too.
Kassi Rigney – So, yeah. Does that help?
What Can a Criminal Defense Attorney do on a Saturday at 3:30 a.m.?
Teri Ulm – It does. What can a defense attorney offer somebody that calls on a Saturday morning at 3:30 a.m. with this drama, and they need an attorney? What can an attorney do for them in that moment?
Jacob Rigney – Well, we we may have access to information that they didn’t know where to find. Because we’re familiar with the system, so we know how to look some things up that they might not be able to figure it out on their own. But beyond that, there’s not a whole lot else we can do on a weekend when someone calls other than give them general information about how the system works, and about what they can expect going forward. So, if it’s somebody who’s never been in trouble before, they don’t understand what’s gonna happen next, we can explain that to them and give them a little bit of comfort and certainty about it, but we can’t affect the investigation. There’s not going to be any way for us to prevent somebody from getting arrested on a case where we don’t know anything about it.
Kassi Rigney – That kind of goes back to as far as people having disputes, legal disputes, with the police on the street, and the appropriate platform is the courtroom. And it’s the same place there. The police are going to do what they’re going to do, but there is a time and place to challenge those actions if they were wrong, but it’s not an individual attorney busting in to an investigation and making demands. Anything that we do, whether it be the state or the defense, it all goes through the judge. The police have access to judicial officers to get search warrants after hours, but from a general standpoint, there’s no judge. I can’t go even file for an injunction which I wouldn’t do as a criminal defense attorney, but even a civil attorney. There’s not a judge to hear any kind of order like that on the weekend.
Do Criminal Defense Attorneys Have the Ability to Get Someone Out of Jail Faster or Make the Jail Give Someone Medical Attention?
Teri Ulm – What about what jails? Do criminal defense attorneys have the ability to get someone out of jail faster, or make the jail give someone medical attention?
Jacob Rigney – I’m tempted to say no, not at all. But that’s not entirely true. Sometimes we can do a little bit to help. But, typically the only time that’s going to happen is if there’s been some serious mistake, and even then, sometimes they don’t listen to it. So, I had a client who got held for too long, and they just wouldn’t let him go.
Kassi Rigney – That’s just kind of how can you sweet talk, and your ability to persuade the people. And also, same as negotiations. It depends what range of flexibility does the person answering the other end have. It’s when people get those delays, our role in the court: all the court is going to tell the jail to do is to release you. The rest of its on the court or on the jail. And they’re not going to come back. If it’s not getting done fast enough, the courts not going to come in and micromanage your process out. Or at least a criminal court is not going to.
Jacob Rigney – Right. And you can’t… Even if you get a lawyer to try to work on it and help you, they’re not going to solve the problem, usually in two hours. Typically that’s the kind of thing where eventually I get ahold of somebody who can you address my problem. One time, I had a client who was suffering from some pretty obvious physical problems when he was in the jail. And it wasn’t, I don’t mean like he was saying he had chest pain, I mean, I could see his toe and it looked like the size of his head. It was gross. Like, his foot is messed up, you guys. Just look at it. In that situation, I helped the little. I went to a deputy, and was like, look. You guys got to find somebody to do something about this. And I’m documenting this, and if they end up suing you, I’ll end up being a witness. You don’t threaten them like that, but you just make it clear. This is not okay. You guys need to do something about it. But even then, I didn’t… It’s not like we got that fixed overnight. It still took days or weeks. And to be honest, I don’t think the jail ever did satisfactorily resolve that issue. I just got him out eventually so that he could go see…
Teri Ulm – A real doctor?
Jacob Rigney – I hesitated before I said real doctor, because they probably have a real doctor. But, they’ve probably got one real doctor and 2,000 people. And I’m sure he’s not really paying that much attention.
What Powers do Criminal Defense Attorneys Have Over Parole and Probation Officers?
Teri Ulm – Now how about with parole officers and probation officers? What power do you guys have over them?
Kassi Rigney – None. We are not their bosses. When I talk to people, I tell them I’m a criminal defense attorney. My arena is the criminal courtroom. I think about it from a practical standpoint. Think somebody coming out of the blue, trying to tell you what’s what is that gonna work? Is it even going to be a benefit? People urge me to go and call, and like, push people… In my experience, those people don’t want their power challenged. Challenging them when you have no footing, only gets… They’re more likely to be harder on you, to work more slowly on the things that they’re doing. These people, I feel like yeah. They think we have these capes and people are shaking in their boots when you say a defense attorney, And I’ll tell you, law enforcement, they’re not shaking their boots when a defense attorney calls.
Jacob Rigney – Yeah. It depends on what you need. If you need information, if you need to understand what’s going on, sometimes you can get them to talk to you about that or you can look things up that the general public can’t get hold of, to figure that out. But you certainly cannot email them over the weekend threatening to sue them and expect to get anything out of them about that. That’s just not a thing that’s ever going to happen. They’re not afraid of that. For the most part, the State’s gonna have immunity anyway. And parole is even more like that.
Teri Ulm – We are going to now cut to a short commercial break and when we come back we will bring you the latest Florida Man news.
Florida Man, Brought to you by Hand Sanitizer
Jacob Rigney – Today’s update on Florida Man is brought to you by hand sanitizer. Do you need to clean the Rona off your hands while also reminding yourself of a $4 fifth of vodka you drank in college? If so, you should try hand sanitizer.
Kassi Rigney – I feel really safe knowing that my daughter’s hands are Rona-free. It’s a total bonus that 15 years from now when my daughter is in college, some 24 year old Sigma Chi Kok Smith can hand her a shot glass mixed with octo vodka and liquid roofie, and she’ll instinctively trust it because it reminds her of me.
Jacob Rigney – This message not actually brought to you by hand sanitizer. Seriously that stuff’s gross.
Florida Man Gets Arrested After Pulling Gun on Another
Teri Ulm – So we have one story out of Florida to report on this week. Insider reports that Florida Man pulled a gun on a driver who told him he had a small penis.
Jacob Rigney – I’ve heard of dumber reasons to pull a gun on somebody. Not, not much dumber, but dumber.
Teri Ulm – Yeah. So according to the police report, Florida Man revved his Jeep engine while stopped in traffic and another driver who was in the car in front of him, got out of his vehicle to confront him. He said: “You must have a small dick”. Well, police said…
Jacob Rigney – That solid burn. That’s a solid burn, and totally reasonable behavior.
Kassi Rigney – Well, and what Florida Man needs to understand, just because that guy said it, every single person in earshot of that rev was thinking the exact same thing. And any question that they had was removed when you pulled your gun out.
Teri Ulm – Yeah. Police say it was then when Florida Man pulled out his Smith and Weston handgun. Yep. He told police that he was trying to protect himself and he didn’t know what the other person was going to do as he approached him. Florida Man told police, he did not have a concealed weapons permit and he was arrested on charges of aggravated assault with a deadly weapon.
Jacob Rigney – What?
Teri Ulm – Yep. Carrying a concealed weapon.
Jacob Rigney – Okay.
Teri Ulm – Dealing in stolen property. I’m not sure where that comes in.
Jacob Rigney – Did he try to sell him some rims in the middle of this conversation?
Kassi Rigney – I suspect maybe after being arrested for the firearm, they searched his car.
Jacob Rigney – And found stolen… something. Maybe the gun was stolen.
Teri Ulm – And a misdemeanor charge of driving without a valid driver’s license.
Don’t Commit Two Crimes at Once
Jacob Rigney – Oh. Kassi has explained this before. Don’t commit two crimes once. That guy was committing like three crimes? He had stolen stuff, driving while suspended, then he pulls a gun on a dude in traffic.
Kassi Rigney – He’s not suppose to have a gun, and he doesn’t have a license. So just keep your mouth shut. Go wherever you’re going, man. No. He’s revving his engine, and then okay, well, that started a problem now. Okay, sorry. Whatever.
Jacob Rigney – Here’s the the difference between Florida man and I is if I was driving on a suspended license with stolen stuff in my car and a gun I didn’t have a license for I would not be like, how dare you sir? claim my penis is small. I would be like, yep, sure is. Don’t call the cops. Okay. Instead he’s just like… You might as well just called the cops on yourself. I mean, it was… The only way he could have been more certain he was going to jail.
Kassi Rigney – This man deserves zero something.
Teri Ulm – I have a question about this.
Jacob Rigney – Yeah.
Teri Ulm – Let’s say Florida Man, instead of pulling out his handgun, he pulled out his penis?
Jacob Rigney – Right? If he had, yeah. No, it isn’t. Look.
Teri Ulm – Is that a crime?
Jacob Rigney – Yes. Well, in Indiana anyway. I don’t know how they get down in Florida, but in Indiana, pulling out your penis in public is also a crime.
Teri Ulm – Is it a lesser crime?
Jacob Rigney – Yes, it is a lesser crime then theft and aggravated assault with a deadly weapon. Typically in Indiana, that’s a crime called public nudity, which is a C misdemeanor, I believe. Unless he starts stroking it for his own benefit or someone else’s, and then it’s an A misdemeanor. I think it’s indecent exposure. Yeah, that’s… Yeah. That’s illegal.
Teri Ulm – And that’s all the time we have for today.
Jacob Rigney – All right. Thanks, Teri. And thank you, dear listener for listening to Tales from the Brown Desk. Please remember, while we may discuss legal issues and provide information regarding the law to our listeners. We do not intend to create an attorney client relationship with any listener. Our advice may not be applicable to some legal issues. Please consult with an attorney you’ve hired to review your legal situation before you attempt to apply the things we’ve said to your case. Tales from the Brown Desk is produced by Rigney Law and edited by Teri Ulm. If you want to ask a listener question, email Teri at firstname.lastname@example.org and entitle your email: “Podcast question”, and we’ll read it on our next podcast. Give us new content for free! We have regular jobs dammit, we cannot do this all on our own. Buzzsprout says this podcast will get 31 downloads. Hells Yeah! More comebacks. All the comebacks are ours. We have many comebacks. Probably more comebacks than Donald Trump has. Cuz I’m thinking he’s out of comebacks. I have actively stopped promoting this podcast on my Facebook page by the way, just so you guys know. So that may be why our numbers have been sagging a little bit. I’ve done that because this podcast is lame as hell, because of me. And also because Facebook is bad for my mental health. Our newest faraway listeners in Berlin, Germany. I have a Facebook friend who lives in Germany, but I don’t think that’s her. Maybe our Paris, France listener is passing us along to other Europeans? That’s how socialism works, right? First one person catches it and then it spreads?
Teri Ulm – Definitely how Coronavirus works.
Jacob Rigney – Okay. Well look, I’m a stupid American. I don’t know anything works over there. The attorneys at Rigney Law do not comment on their current pending cases. Nothing we’ve said in this podcast is a comment on a case we’re currently working on even if your name is Chad or if you just chugged hand sanitizer this weekend because you ran out of dark guys vodka. Goodbye.