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Thread: Arrested for LEGALLY carrying concealed with a license

  1. #1
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    I actually posted a reply to the topic about the student being arrested on the college campus for legally carrying a gun, but I figured I would just start a new topic about and see what you all thought. This occurred in March of 2006 in Houston, Texas.

    I was arrested for "carrying a prohibited weapon, in a prohibited place" which is a 3rd degree felony in Texas.

    I was riding in a crew cab truck with some friends, and they pulled over into a large parking lot off the road to try to find a lighter he had dropped on the floor board of his truck. Well once he stopped we all got out to try to find his lighter since two of the passengers were smokers (cigs not the other stuff) and were having nicotine fits.

    While standing here in this dark parking lot around this truck, a Pct. 4 Harris County Constable drove by and took notice of us. He decided to pull into the parking lot and see what we were up to.

    He asked what we were doing and we explained and he asked to see ID's from all of us. Well since I was carrying my Glock 23 on me, I gave him my D.L. and my C.H.L. as required by law.

    He went to his car to run our ID's and I am sure check for warrants. Well after about 8 to 10 minutes, 2 other police vehicles showed up. He returned to me and asked me to turn around a place my hands on the truck. He then removed my handgun off me, and told me "do you realize this is a school parking lot?". In which I replied "no I did not, but I do not see how that is relevant". He then replied "your carrying a handgun on school grounds". I replied "I understand that, but school premises does not apply to a parking lot for a conceal handgun license holder".

    He then laughed at me and told me "I think I know the law better then you". In which I said "well in all respect sir, I am T.C.L.E.O.S.E. (Texas Commission on Law Enforcement Officer Standards and Education) certified just like you, as I graduated from H.C.C. Police Academy and past my TCLEOSE test. I am also a Criminal Justice major and I am very much aware of my rights and what the law says. Maybe you are mistaken, and we can look it up in your Texas Penal Code book."

    He laughed at me again, and hand cuffed me, then placed me in the back of his cruiser. I was taken to Cypresswood Pct. 4 holding cell, and then later transferred by bus to downtown Harris County Jail. I had to post a $5,000 bail and then immediately headed for home where I grabbed my Texas Penal Code book from when I was in the police academy.

    After a little research I found Texas Penal Code 46.035, "carrying a prohibited weapon in a prohibited place by a CHL holder". See they were trying to charge me with a separate crime, that did not and COULD NOT be charged to me, because I am in fact a "CHL holder".

    Now low and behold at the end of the statue it says in big print and I quote:

    Code:
    3)  "Premises" means a building or a portion of a 
    building.  The term does not include any public or private driveway, 
    street, sidewalk or walkway, parking lot, parking garage, or other 
    parking area.
    So armed with this new found knowledge I went into court my first day (with no attorney) and asked to speak to the district attorney who was in charge of prosecuting me in my case. I tried to show her my penal code book and ask her about the statue, in which she replied very much like the officer with "I went to law school. I am quite aware of what the law says", and blew me off.

    When the session started she even told the judge "the prosecution is ready to proceed" which in my book means she had read over the case, and felt she had a firm case here.

    Well the judge asked me where my attorney was, and when I told him I did not have one, he quickly advised me to be quite and said we would reset the court date until I could find counsel. I tried to explain to him I did not need a attorney and he again warned me of how serious of a matter this is. I ended up having to say "well I know I have a right to represent myself, so if that is what needs to be done for me to be able to speak, then I will take that right". At that point I am assuming he took me more serious and asked me what it was I wanted to show him.

    He looked at my penal code book and read the high lighted section I quoted above. Then closed the book and looked at the front cover. It was a 2 yr old edition, so he asked the district attorney to see her copy of the penal code (a newer copy). He checked in her copy to make sure the law had not been revised in the last two years, then asked the D.A., "can you explain this" in which time she was happy to look at the statue for him.

    Well after reading it, she kind of stood there dumb founded and quite. The judge called a five minute recess and told the D.A. he wanted to speak to her in his chambers. Five minutes later they returned and he said "having looked at this new found situation, the case is dismissed".

    Now since this is already running long, I will skip quite a few steps and say it was not over there. My Glock was taken as "evidence" for my case. I was told I couldn't have it back by Pct. 4 Constables (where it was locked up in their evidence room) because the D.A. had to sign off on something, even though I had paperwork showing the case was dismissed.

    Later a friend's wife, who works downtown in that same criminal court building spoke with the officer for that court room, who spoke with that D.A., who told him to relay the message back down to me that and I quote "hell will freeze over before he gets that handgun back".

    Fast forward a year later, and many, many calls later, and leaving about 50 voice mails on the Corporal who was in charge of the evidence room, he called me back and told me I could have my pistol back if I promised to stop calling him. I went up there, signed some piece of paper saying I got the pistol back, and he brought it out to me. I don't know if he just figured the D.A. would surely have forgot about it since it was a year later, or what, but on that day, hell must have froze over.

    Also I thought that was the end of that whole ordeal (this happened in March of 2006), and now that I have finished my degree in Criminal Justice, and am trying to go into law enforcement, I have now found out that most departments won't look at me because I was CHARGED with a felony. Yup, that is correct. I have been told that I will probably have to go spend $1,000 to a attorney to go to court and try to get that event expunged of my record.

    So all in all, this "know it all" officer who was obviously not very knowledgeable of the law, cost me thousands of dollars, a couple days in jail, and possibly my future career in law enforcement.


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    Regular Member SouthernBoy's Avatar
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    Blinn79 wrote:
    I actually posted a reply to the topic about the student being arrested on the college campus for legally carrying a gun, but I figured I would just start a new topic about and see what you all thought. This occurred in March of 2006 in Houston, Texas.

    I was arrested for "carrying a prohibited weapon, in a prohibited place" which is a 3rd degree felony in Texas.

    I was riding in a crew cab truck with some friends, and they pulled over into a large parking lot off the road to try to find a lighter he had dropped on the floor board of his truck. Well once he stopped we all got out to try to find his lighter since two of the passengers were smokers (cigs not the other stuff) and were having nicotine fits.

    While standing here in this dark parking lot around this truck, a Pct. 4 Harris County Constable drove by and took notice of us. He decided to pull into the parking lot and see what we were up to.

    He asked what we were doing and we explained and he asked to see ID's from all of us. Well since I was carrying my Glock 23 on me, I gave him my D.L. and my C.H.L. as required by law.

    He went to his car to run our ID's and I am sure check for warrants. Well after about 8 to 10 minutes, 2 other police vehicles showed up. He returned to me and asked me to turn around a place my hands on the truck. He then removed my handgun off me, and told me "do you realize this is a school parking lot?". In which I replied "no I did not, but I do not see how that is relevant". He then replied "your carrying a handgun on school grounds". I replied "I understand that, but school premises does not apply to a parking lot for a conceal handgun license holder".

    He then laughed at me and told me "I think I know the law better then you". In which I said "well in all respect sir, I am T.C.L.E.O.S.E. (Texas Commission on Law Enforcement Officer Standards and Education) certified just like you, as I graduated from H.C.C. Police Academy and past my TCLEOSE test. I am also a Criminal Justice major and I am very much aware of my rights and what the law says. Maybe you are mistaken, and we can look it up in your Texas Penal Code book."

    He laughed at me again, and hand cuffed me, then placed me in the back of his cruiser. I was taken to Cypresswood Pct. 4 holding cell, and then later transferred by bus to downtown Harris County Jail. I had to post a $5,000 bail and then immediately headed for home where I grabbed my Texas Penal Code book from when I was in the police academy.

    After a little research I found Texas Penal Code 46.035, "carrying a prohibited weapon in a prohibited place by a CHL holder". See they were trying to charge me with a separate crime, that did not and COULD NOT be charged to me, because I am in fact a "CHL holder".

    Now low and behold at the end of the statue it says in big print and I quote:

    Code:
    3) "Premises" means a building or a portion of a 
    building. The term does not include any public or private driveway, 
    street, sidewalk or walkway, parking lot, parking garage, or other 
    parking area.
    So armed with this new found knowledge I went into court my first day (with no attorney) and asked to speak to the district attorney who was in charge of prosecuting me in my case. I tried to show her my penal code book and ask her about the statue, in which she replied very much like the officer with "I went to law school. I am quite aware of what the law says", and blew me off.

    When the session started she even told the judge "the prosecution is ready to proceed" which in my book means she had read over the case, and felt she had a firm case here.

    Well the judge asked me where my attorney was, and when I told him I did not have one, he quickly advised me to be quite and said we would reset the court date until I could find counsel. I tried to explain to him I did not need a attorney and he again warned me of how serious of a matter this is. I ended up having to say "well I know I have a right to represent myself, so if that is what needs to be done for me to be able to speak, then I will take that right". At that point I am assuming he took me more serious and asked me what it was I wanted to show him.

    He looked at my penal code book and read the high lighted section I quoted above. Then closed the book and looked at the front cover. It was a 2 yr old edition, so he asked the district attorney to see her copy of the penal code (a newer copy). He checked in her copy to make sure the law had not been revised in the last two years, then asked the D.A., "can you explain this" in which time she was happy to look at the statue for him.

    Well after reading it, she kind of stood there dumb founded and quite. The judge called a five minute recess and told the D.A. he wanted to speak to her in his chambers. Five minutes later they returned and he said "having looked at this new found situation, the case is dismissed".

    Now since this is already running long, I will skip quite a few steps and say it was not over there. My Glock was taken as "evidence" for my case. I was told I couldn't have it back by Pct. 4 Constables (where it was locked up in their evidence room) because the D.A. had to sign off on something, even though I had paperwork showing the case was dismissed.

    Later a friend's wife, who works downtown in that same criminal court building spoke with the officer for that court room, who spoke with that D.A., who told him to relay the message back down to me that and I quote "hell will freeze over before he gets that handgun back".

    Fast forward a year later, and many, many calls later, and leaving about 50 voice mails on the Corporal who was in charge of the evidence room, he called me back and told me I could have my pistol back if I promised to stop calling him. I went up there, signed some piece of paper saying I got the pistol back, and he brought it out to me. I don't know if he just figured the D.A. would surely have forgot about it since it was a year later, or what, but on that day, hell must have froze over.

    Also I thought that was the end of that whole ordeal (this happened in March of 2006), and now that I have finished my degree in Criminal Justice, and am trying to go into law enforcement, I have now found out that most departments won't look at me because I was CHARGED with a felony. Yup, that is correct. I have been told that I will probably have to go spend $1,000 to a attorney to go to court and try to get that event expunged of my record.

    So all in all, this "know it all" officer who was obviously not very knowledgeable of the law, cost me thousands of dollars, a couple days in jail, and possibly my future career in law enforcement.
    Sorry to hear of this terrible ordeal you were forced to suffer. This begs a question. Can you sue the officer in question and his superiorsfor malfeasance, false arrest, or what have you, and the county as well? Seems to me that you have lost a lot due to an unconscionable action on their part.


    In the final seconds of your life, just before your killer is about to dispatch you to that great eternal darkness, what would you rather have in your hand? A cell phone or a gun?

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    SouthernBoy wrote:
    Blinn79 wrote:
    This occurred in March of 2006 in Houston, Texas.
    Sorry to hear of this terrible ordeal you were forced to suffer. This begs a question. Can you sue the officer in question and his superiorsfor malfeasance, false arrest, or what have you, and the county as well? Seems to me that you have lost a lot due to an unconscionable action on their part.
    Statute of limitations?

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    Blinn79 wrote:
    Well after reading it, she kind of stood there dumb founded and quite. The judge called a five minute recess and told the D.A. he wanted to speak to her in his chambers. Five minutes later they returned and he said "having looked at this new found situation, the case is dismissed".

    hahaha owned! Good for you!



    Sorry about the complications afterwards though. And people wonder why @#$% cops are such a big deal. Even when you go through the trouble and expense of proving them wrong, you can still be screwed for life. That really sucks man. Best of luck to you.

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    What a nightmare! :shock:

    Does the Governor or other representative have any power over that? If so, I'd go straight to their office and sit on someone's desk until you get results.

    I'd probably go sit on their respective desks anyway, just to make sure they were personally aware of this nightmare!


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    Where to begin...

    As you have learned, don't bother arguing the law with a cop. I had to snicker at the "I went to law school and I know the law" non sequitur from the prosecutor. Also, being charged with something and not convicted of it is a ridiculous basis to exclude someone from consideration for work of any kind. You weren't guilty - you have nothing to explain. I don't even know how that would come up. Background checks here just go by convictions. They get the wrong guy - they can't hold that against him, right? In any event do NOT spend a thousand dollars on a lawyer toget a case expunged. If you filed yourself to get a conviction expunged, it would run you $50 in Ohio, and a lawyer will not do anything that you can't do yourself. Getting a bogus arrest lifted from the record ought to cost you nothing. I would call the chief of police and or the clerk of courts and ask how to proceed.

    It's amazing (in a bad way) that they even had you post bail over this. These people suck, truly.

    -ljp

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    When I was a cop... I had to define the statute... Meaning that I had to look it up and 'read it' when writing the arrest report in order to 'charge' correctly by statute. If you didn't charge correctly the DA would have a piece of your ass. Not only could he not prosecute, it opened the State to litigation. (Not to mention Joe Shmoe's gettin' locked up.) Not that Joe didn't do 'somethin' wrong... it was the degree of wrong that had to be defined. In the course of 'doing this'... you find many nuances in the law you might'a overlooked previously... 'n you make mental notes.

    This cop made an arrest on anecdotal info. 'School Grounds'... 'never bothered to see what that entailed...'the specifics'. When a cop effects an arrest... he/she must remember that they are depriving a citizen of their freedom. In so doing. it is incumbent upon the arresting officer that he/she is correct in ensuring that an actual crime has been committed and the person arrested committed it. Anecdotal information or 'opinion' is notjustification for probable cause.

    You should be aware of those crimes most likely to be committed on your post or within your sector and "READ" the friggin' statutes... Not just sort'a remember what somebody said in the Police Academy back when. If you have an uncertain situation.... Call the Supervisor (Duty Sergeant) and get confirmation of what you're doing or about to do. Unfortunately... most cops (in my experience) are lazy. All they know is 'lock 'em up'... the Judge will sort it out. This is the attitude I vehemently oppose. I opposed it as a cop 'n I oppose it now.

    It was this sort of ignorance on the cops part that got Danladi Moore jacked up in Norfolk. I still think there were other forces at work in that deal... but I can only speculate.

    It doesn't take a whole lot to apologize for detaining a suspect and let 'em go. (This would happen when jackin' up somebody who fit the description of a BG that came down on the radio.) You collar the guy... 'n let the victim take a look at 'em. If the victim sez no... then you cut 'em loose with an apology. 'Course the guy might'a just besmirched his pants when you stick that cannon to his head yellin': "Up against the wall... MOVE...." as you do a parkin' brake stop on yer cruiser 'n come outta the car like Jack the Bear with a gun in yer hand. Element of surprise 'n all that. It's a not a perfect tactic... but it's effective. 'Excuse me sir... might I have a word with you"? sounds better but might get you killed too.


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    Legba wrote:
    Also, being charged with something and not convicted of it is a ridiculous basis to exclude someone from consideration for work of any kind. You weren't guilty - you have nothing to explain. I don't even know how that would come up. Background checks here just go by convictions. They get the wrong guy - they can't hold that against him, right?
    Sadly, there are allot of 'clearance' related jobs where simply the official accusation can result in the denial of the clearance...and thereby the job.

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    I don't doubt that this kind of thing happens, but it's still lame. So much for a presumption of innocence.

    -ljp

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    That's a crappy deal man.

    If this topic ends up like some others, someone will say that the LEO isn't required to know the law at all. I guess we see what happens.

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    BLinn, you should get this moved to the TX thread. Maybe someone from TX will know what route you can take to get it expunged. Frankly, it looks like a slam-dunk. But, given that you stated all the facts, you may wish to consider an attorney to discuss the ramifications of what the LE and DA did for damages.
    "Those who would give up essential liberty to purchase a little temporary safety deserve neither liberty nor safety." Benjamin Franklin

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    As for the prosecutor reading thedetails of the complaint and deciding that they had a strong case worth pursuing, she probably gave a cursory reading ofthe police complaint and accepted that as gospel. That happens about, well, every time. All the principals (i.e. detectives and prosecutors) quite arbitarilyassume good faith and competence on the part of their peers. I had a prosecutor submit a complaint to a grand jury which promptly returned a "no bill." The cops charged me under an inapplicable law and the prosecutor either didn't care to check or just didn't know that it was irrelevant. Either way, it doesn't reflect well on their professional competence.

    Anyway, I think you overestimate their sense of diligence. And if they care so little about their own professionalism, imagine what they think of your life, liberty, and property. Just a thought.

    -ljp

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    Good god! This happened in the USA! and youcan't file any kind of criminal or civil suit against anyone or public entity?
    Iím proudly straight. I'm free to not support Legalization, GLBT, Illegal Aliens, or the Islamization of America.

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    mjones wrote:
    Legba wrote:
    Also, being charged with something and not convicted of it is a ridiculous basis to exclude someone from consideration for work of any kind. You weren't guilty - you have nothing to explain. I don't even know how that would come up. Background checks here just go by convictions. They get the wrong guy - they can't hold that against him, right?
    Sadly, there are allot of 'clearance' related jobs where simply the official accusation can result in the denial of the clearance...and thereby the job.
    I know that when I was in Air Force Recruiting, we had a rule on the books that if the applicant had ever been charged with Murder, they were permanently inelligible to join the Air Force. Even if it was a not guilty verdict, or case dismissed. Once charged, no Air Force carreer.

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    Blinn79 wrote:
    <Snip>He looked at my penal code book and read the high lighted section I quoted above. Then closed the book and looked at the front cover. It was a 2 yr old edition, so he asked the district attorney to see her copy of the penal code (a newer copy). He checked in her copy to make sure the law had not been revised in the last two years, then asked the D.A., "can you explain this" in which time she was happy to look at the statue for him.<Snip>
    You did check this for yourself first, right? Would have sucked if the law had been revised in the last two years.

    Glad it all worked out.

    edit to change structuring



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    If you're a CJ major graduate, you should know that you can file a motion for expungement yourself, no lawyer needed. Once approved, and it will be, your arrest is off your records. Then file pro se a suit for false arrest and malicious prosecution citing damages to your reputation with the arrest record on file and ask for high punitive damages--$250K is a nice starting point, as well as real damages. I'm surprised you don't know this.
    "For any man who sheds his blood with me this day shall be my brother...And gentlemen now abed shall think themselves accursed, they were not here, and hold their manhoods cheap whilst any speaks who fought with us on Crispin's day." Henry V

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    As nightmarish as your story is, you fared FAR better than Jason.

    Read and support this story victim.

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