Do you know you can go to jail for Driving While Poor (DWP)? Do you know your third brake light is more likely to fail if you are Black, Hispanic, or have long hair? Do you know your car is more likely to be searched if you are a Black man? Do you know the vast majority of car searches result in no contraband being found?

I am a criminal defense lawyer in Northern Virginia and I have learned in my four short years practicing all of the above is true. And that’s not all. Your rights are dependent upon judges who will believe police (revenue collection) officers, “victims,” and prosecutors over anyone accused of a crime. Juries are usually better at finding the truth, but their power is limited as they cannot legally practice what is referred to as “jury nullification.”

So, welcome to the police state. There is NO presumption of innocence in any court proceeding. Your Fourth Amendment “Rights” have enough holes to drive an M1 tank through. The only consolation, if it is consolation, is that the whole criminal “(in)justice” system is not personal, it’s business, BIG business.

Your best defense is not to ever enter the system. Once you enter, there are numerous programs and jobs you will be expected to support. You can get your case dismissed if you’ll pay court costs and your court-appointed attorneys fees. The system is a machine, you see, and that machine needs blood to continue running – your blood.

So the best defense is to be smart and never show up on the revenue collectors’ radars. Police officers were once peace officers, but no longer. So, what is your first line of defense?

Make sure your car is in working order and your license is valid. Don’t drive around after midnight and don’t smoke drugs in your car. Have your dealer come to you and not the other way around. If you smoke drugs, learn how to mask the smell of any drugs you smoke. Be smart.

The police are on to your code words, will use your clients to set you up, and are only interested in convictions and confiscating assets. Check the Virginia Court Case Information System for your client’s names. If you are not really a dealer but have someone blowing up your phone, you MUST check to see if they have been charged.

The way it works is those caught will be offered a deal if they catch someone or the police. So if you see they have been charged and their case is still open, has been continued, or has been “nolle prossed,” you’re dealing with a snitch. Snitches LOVE to trap someone who doesn’t really deal but will supply sometimes. They will blow up your phone, work you, and even get high with you. So ALWAYS check your county and surrounding counties to see if they’ve been “pinched.”

That’s all for now. More later.

Be smart. And then be smarter. There is no surefire way to not get caught, but you can minimize your risk. I will address what to do when you are caught in a future posting.