I'm being pulled over, can I just swallow the drugs to keep the police from arresting me?
Swallowing your drugs to keep the police from seizing them as evidence is a bad idea for a LOT of reasons. From a legal standpoint:
First, the officer may charge you with obstruction of justice. The Louisiana Obstruction of Justice Statute is pretty long, but the relevant part says:
“A. The crime of obstruction of justice is any of the following when committed with the knowledge that such act has, reasonably may, or will affect an actual or potential present, past, or future criminal proceeding as described in this Section:
(1) Tampering with evidence with the specific intent of distorting the results of any criminal investigation or proceeding which may reasonably prove relevant to a criminal investigation or proceeding. Tampering with evidence shall include the intentional alteration, movement, removal, or addition of any object or substance either:
(a) At the location of any incident which the perpetrator knows or has good reason to believe will be the subject of any investigation by state, local, or United States law enforcement officers; or
(b) At the location of storage, transfer, or place of review of any such evidence…”
The punishment for committing obstruction of justice? If the crime you’re trying to cover up is a misdemeanor or non-hard labor felony: a fine of up to $10,000 and imprisonment for up to FIVE YEARS. For hard labor felonies, the punishment is a fine of up to $50,000 and imprisonment up to 20 years. The punishment for first offense simple possession of less than 14 grams of marijuana? A fine of up to $300 and 15 days in jail.
Secondly, just because you swallow the drugs doesn’t mean you can’t be prosecuted for possession of the drug if the officer saw it in your possession before you swallowed it. The officer will be able to testify about what he observed and a jury may still find beyond a reasonable doubt that you possessed a controlled dangerous substance.
If you or someone you know has been arrested for possession of a controlled dangerous substance, call us for a consult at (318) 459-9111.