Any Orlando Criminal Law Attorney will tell you that they see a large part of their clients charged with crimes after they volunteer additional, unnecessary information to law enforcement officers during routine traffic stops or questioning.
The simple fact is that our constitution puts the burden of proving that someone is committing a crime on the government. When you volunteer incriminating information to police, you are essentially turning yourself in for a crime that you have not even been charged with.
Although thousands of violent criminals are apprehended this way each year making our streets safer, the volunteering of incriminating information also leads to thousands of arrests in victimless crimes. Our jails and court dockets are full of these types of cases which slow the criminal justice system.
In one case this weekend, officers were fortunate that the carelessness of a criminal led to an arrest that may have prevented a violent crime down the road. A convicted felon told officers during a traffic stop that he had an illegal firearm and will now be needing the help of an Orlando criminal law attorney.
According to police reports, officers in North Orange County pulled over 32 year old Walter Upshaw late Saturday evening near North Orange Blossom Trail after he failed to come to a complete stop at an intersection.
During the stop, officers noticed a strong odor of marijuana coming from Upshaw’s car windows. Upon questioning, he then told officers, “I’m sorry officer, my gun is digging in my hip.”
Since Upshaw is currently serving three years’ probation for a prior felony drug conviction, he is prohibited by state and federal laws from carrying any type of firearm.
Police records show Upshaw had a .380 caliber pistol which was loaded with one bullet in the chamber and six more in the magazine. He was arrested and charged with possession of a firearm and possession of ammunition by a convicted felon. He later posted bail of $5,150 and was released from the Orange County Jail.
City law enforcement officials say they have recovered a multitude of illegal weapons in recent months through a program by the Tactical Anti-Crime unit of strictly enforcing traffic laws.
Check back for updates to this story. Should you have any questions about your legal rights or need assistance with a criminal charge, contact us today to speak with an Orlando Criminal Law Attorney.