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State and Federal Criminal Defense Representation

What Recourse?


I have a client who was charged with being a “lookout” in a drug conspiracy case in Federal Court. The co-defendant in the case was set up by a confidential informant (usually someone who is charged in another case who is working down his sentence by cooperating with the federal agents by helping them bust other drug dealers.) My client was present during a drug transaction. There was no evidence that he did anything, knew anything, said anything or that he was ever in possession of any drugs. In other words, the evidence was paper-thin. The only evidence to support probable cause for his arrest was the agent’s statement that based on his training and experience (catchphrase) my client was acting as a “lookout.” Based on this tiny thread, my client was held in custody for 8 days pending a bail hearing. The judge was not available to hear the motion for bail any sooner. At the bail hearing, the U.S. Attorney, having realized that she could not prove her case, dismissed the case against my client. That almost NEVER happens in Federal Court. Great news! Right? Right. Except for the fact that my client spent 8 days in jail that he will never get back and he has absolutely no recourse. If he can find a lawyer to file a false imprisonment case, which won’t happen, he will lose because the magistrate found probable cause to detain him. So although the “interests of justice” were served, where is the justice in that?

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