As an assistant district attorney for Cityburgh, you are assigned to review three cases and present your findings to the district attorney to decide on how to proceed. You must review the facts of each case, specifically focusing on the procedural aspects and looking for any legal issues that may arise. You will need to judge the admissibility of the evidence provided and, on the basis of the evidence that will be available at trial, determine if the crimes provided should be charged. In addition to the charging recommendations, the district attorney has asked that you look at possibly offering plea bargains for any case that may have evidentiary issues. If the more severe crime cannot be proven based on the evidence, can a lesser crime be bargained to? You are to present a 4- to 5-page analysis of the situations to the district attorney.
On Thursday, November 14, Able was stopped for driving 20 miles over the posted speed limit. It was further found that the vehicle had a no noperating speedometer and the driver was aware of this. During the stop, the officer ordered Able out of the car and conducted a frisk, during which a lump was discovered in Able’s pocket. The officer then asked Able to remove the object, and he complied. It was determined that the object in question was a baggie of methamphetamine. Reviewing these facts, explain whether the suspect should be charged with reckless driving, under Code of Virginia § 46.2-862, and possession of controlled substances, under Code of Virginia § 18.2-250. Concerning the drugs found, are there any issues with the frisk performed or the discovery when the suspect removed the object from his pocket?
A call came in from a neighbor of Baker’s regarding a possible assault due to noise from a gun range that Baker had built on his property. The neighbor had an extreme aversion to loud noises and stated that the noise from the range was causing emotional trauma to his person. Upon going to investigate, two officers discovered several nonoperational vehicles in the front yard of Baker’s home. When the Vehicle Identification Numbers (VINs) were checked, many of these were found to be stolen. One officer then searched the sheds on the property without a warrant and found more stolen goods. During the search, a second officer went to the house to speak with Baker but was confronted by Baker’s seven-year-old son, who was armed with a shotgun and threatened the officer. Should Baker be charged with assault and battery, under Code of Virginia § 18.2-57, and grand larceny, under Code of Virginia § 18.2-95? In addition, should Baker’s son be charged with assault and battery, under Code of Virginia § 18.2-57? Concerning the stolen property, does the discovery of the stolen cars or the other property in the outbuildings raise any admissibility issues?
On the morning of November 16, Charlie was found sleeping on a park bench, at which time he admitted to drinking the previous night and falling asleep in the park. Further, Charlie admitted that he knew the park was closed at dusk. Upon returning Charlie to his vehicle, an officer ran Charlie’s license plate and asked Charlie if he could look in his trunk. The officer found two garbage bags containing human body parts and a bloody axe in the trunk. Charlie claims to have no recollection of the previous night. Should Charlie be charged with public intoxication, under Code of Virginia § 18.2-388, and murder and manslaughter, under Code of Virginia § 18.2-30? What issues might be present in the opening of the trunk and discovery of the bodies?
In all three cases, be sure to address the criminal elements, possible defenses raised, and any suggested plea bargains to lesser charges. If any of the situations have multiple outcomes based on facts not given, address all possibilities.
Note: You can use the Internet to find information about the Virginia Legislative Information System and the specific codes.
Support your responses with examples. Cite any sources in APA format.