There are several legal issues arising from this criminal matter. The issues are; did Officer James use excessive and unreasonable force to arrest the complainant? Was the complainant driving recklessly against the traffic laws during the time of the incident? Does swallowing of methamphetamine amounts to attempted para suicide? And are previous criminal convictions of both parties relevant to this case?
If a police officer has evidence that a person has committed a crime, he has the discretion to arrest him at the scene or choose to arrest him at a later time. It is indicated from the statements of facts that Mr. Patrick Love was recklessly driving in the neighborhood at a speed of 100 Mph. When the officer encountered him, he refused to get arrest prompting the officer to command him outside his car. The complainant however admits that he was in possession methamphetamine during the incident. He also admits that he had a cracked pipe and also tried to swallow methamphetamine. This seemed to be a deliberate attempt by the complainant to conceal the evidence. The police officer is required by law to inform the person he intends to arrest of his rights. The power of the police to arrest is no doubt a constitutional implementation to combat crime, however this duty has been subjected to intensive debates when it come forceful arrests of the offenders (Klahm, 20015). The law permits citizens to resists unlawful arrests like in State v. Mobley if they are acting on self defense. The person arrested also has the rights to use force in his self defense only if the arresting officer is using excessive force. Such arrests are termed to be illegal if they are conducted in a brutal manner and the person arrested suffers bodily harm as explained in State v. Robinson.
Driving recklessly is a serious offence under the American laws and the offenders should face dire consequences if proved guilty. This happens when the driver intentionally operates his vehicle in a manner which is dangerous to other road users and to him too. Police officers have exclusive powers to stop and detain traffic laws violators temporarily at any time or place provided that they have reasonable justification for their action. This was very determined by the Supreme Court judgment in Whren vUnited States (Ashworth, 2013). Mr. Patrick is alleged to have been driving his car at a speed of more 100 Mph at a traffic stop stretch.
The complainant in this case admitted to be in possession of methamphetamine during his arrest. The drug has been profiled by the United States Drug Enforcement Administration as a stimulate making its procession illegal in law. Any use of this drug contrary to medical prescription by a qualified medical practitioner amount to drug abuse. Mr. Patrick is reported to have attempted to swallow this drug an action which could have caused a serious health complication to his body.
Both parties in this matter have been previously convicted of similar accusations being leveled against them at this time. The rules of natural justice have it that no offender shall be vexed twice; this law was designed to protect an accused person from being punished for an offence they had already been punished for. However, it is human nature for some humans to repeat or commit the similar crimes. In this case, the law does not bar courts to convict offenders who have committed a fresh crime (Keating, 2014) . The evidence of similar convictions is admissible in court under the principle of rebuttable presumption of facts. The defendant herein was previously suspended from the service without salary for causing serious bodily harm to prostitute. On the other hand, Mr. Patrick had been charged and convicted for injuring a police officer while resisting arrest. He had also been convicted four times for being in possession of illegal drugs.
After analyzing the facts in this case, looking at the judicial precedents and relevant applicable laws it is evident that both parties in this arbitration are guilty of various offences. Medical reports have indeed confirmed that Mr. Patrick suffered bodily injuries as result of assaults from Mr. James. Mr. James is therefore guilty of assault and he should compensate the complaint $ 50000. The officer should also take care of Mr. Patricks medical bills arising from the injuries inflicted by him. The arbitration will however not recommend the sacking of Mr. James from the service but it directs his employers to hire for him a professional counselor on anger management. The arbitration also finds Mr. Patrick guilty on two counts of offences. He is guilty of being in possession of illegal drugs and attempting to harm his body by trying to consume methamphetamine. The arbitration recommends a further criminal prosecution on him at the federal courts. He should also be taken to the rehabilitation center at his own cost. The arbitration however dismisses the charges on traffic offences for luck of a prima facia case.
Ashworth, A., & Horder, J. (2013). Principles of criminal law. Oxford University Press.
Keating, H., Cunningham, S. K., Walters, M. A., & Elliot, T. (2014). Criminal law: text and materials. Sweet & Maxwell.
Klahm, C., Steiner, B., & Meade, B. (2015). Using force in arrests against those who are not resisting can mean more violent prisoners. USAppAmerican Politics and Policy Blog.
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