Interviewer: What would you say are some of the more common misconceptions that people have about drug cases?
Eric Sachs: One of the misconceptions is that police usually saying, people saying, “These drugs were found in plain view.” As we know, whether it’s your own personal medication or certainly if you’re not possessing your own, you’re possessing somebody else’s, nobody leaves them out in plain view for the police officer to come and see. The bottom line comes out to be you can’t, and this is the worst one of all, that the average citizen, if you’re going away, you tend to take one pill bottle and you put all your medications in one bottle because why do you want to take ten pill bottles.
According to the Law, Prescription Medicine Must be in its Own Separate Bottle Having Your Name, Address and Date of Birth on it.
Under the law, you really can’t do that. Each medication has to be in its own separate pill bottle. That is the pill bottle for that particular type of medication. It has to have your name and your address, your date of birth, all the prescription medication on it. Although most people are not harassed by any security force, police or at an airport, you can be. By having 10 separate medications in one pill bottle, even though they’re all yours and you have the prescription for all those, if they’re all combined into one jar, that’s not legal.
Miranda Rights Are There To Protect a Citizen from Being Questioned By the Police
Interviewer: Do you ever get clients get confused about the idea of Miranda Rights being read to them and thinking that they might …?
Eric Sachs: Every case. Every case, the clients will come in at some point in time, I’m waiting for it. They’re going to say to me, “The police did not read me my Miranda Rights. Therefore my case needs to get thrown out. You need to have my case thrown out.” We explain to clients that the Miranda warnings are there to protect them from being questioned by the police. Other than that, the police never have to read a person their Miranda Rights.
If a Person Gets Arrested and the Police Do Not Intend to Interrogatethem or Ask Them Questions, They Do Not Have to be Read Their MirandaRights.
It’s kind of interesting to hear people say, I’ve never read my Miranda Rights, and then in the interview process you find out that they were talking to the police all on their own, like they were having coffee with them or having lunch with them. The cop was never really asking questions. They were just having conversation, and that is a bad combination.
People, again, this goes back to some of the things I said in the beginning, how people talk to the police. They get themselves into all sorts of trouble, and then they’ll say, “Oh, but the police didn’t read me my Miranda Rights.” We’ll ask them, “Well, did the police sit you down, did they ask you any questions?” They say, “No.” “Well, how come you told them all this information?” “Well, we were in the police car. I was just having a conversation with him.”
You Do Not Have to be Read Your Miranda Rights Unless You are in Custody, You are Not Free to Leave, and You are Being Interrogated by the Police.
In the same sense, you don’t have to talk to the police ever. You have a first amendment right to speech. Your first amendment right says freedom of speech, which means I have to right to remain silent, I have a right to talk to anybody I want to talk to, I have a right to not talk to anybody I don’t want to talk to. What I used to say to people, your first amendment means, I have a right to shut up. That’s what we preach all the time. Exercise your first amendment right to be quiet. Don’t talk.
Common Client Mistakes that are Detrimental to Their Case
Interviewer: What would you say some of the things that end up hurting someone’s case?
Eric Sachs: It goes for every single type of case; it’s never different. Most people try and talk their way out of something. The problem is always, whether you’re guilty or you’re not guilty, if you don’t choose your words properly, they can come back to haunt you. When anybody is confronted with a drug case, what’s happening, unless they’re trained to do it, even though you’re not guilty of anything, by saying the wrong thing could lead you to being charged and now you have to defend a drug case that would otherwise not be a drug case.
The Most Common Mistake Committed is Talking to the Police
I always tell people, and the biggest problem that everybody has is talking to the police. Of course you want to tell the police, “They’re my medication, it’s mine. I have a prescription for it,” but most people don’t say it because you’re nervous, you don’t choose your words carefully enough, and the police end up charging people. Then we defend them and come into court, and after they spend a lot of money on legal fees and court fees to show the district attorney and the prosecutors that this is just an honest mistake, this is their medication and we explain away how the person made his misstatement.
I find that people should as much as possible, not talk to the police.
By Eric Sachs