When two Daytona Beach Police Officers wanted to search the home that 46-year old David Beauprez shared with his elderly mother, they lied to the woman to gain entry without a warrant. Circuit Judge Joseph Will reasoned that if the police were willing to lie to the elderly mother for a small amount of drugs, their case against Beuprez could not be trusted, and he suppressed the crucial drug evidence in the case.
“A liar, after all, is a liar,” wrote Will in his order, setting off the Daytona Beach Police Chief. Chief Mike Chitwood wrote a strongly worded letter in response to the ruling, saying he had no right to call the officers liars and questioning Will’s knowledge of the law, which allows officers to use deception in order to solve a crime.
Last Sept. 10, officers knocked on the door of Ms. Beuprez, telling her that they were investigating a 9-1-1 disconnect call. She allowed them to enter the home under the assumption that they were there to check on the wellbeing of the residents. But while there they conducted a search, finding pills and a marijuana pipe in David’s drawer.
“Clearly, your order reflects your personal bias against Supreme Court and Florida Court decisions that allow police to use deception in certain circumstances to further their investigations,” said Chief Chitwood in his letter.
More than likely, Judge Will determined this deception was not warranted in this particular case. Deceiving an elderly woman to root out some pills and a marijuana pipe hardly seems pressing. Lying for the safety of another person or in the solving of a more serious crime, would have likely be handled differently by the judge.
Many people don’t realize that the police are allowed to lie to suspects or citizens in their line of work. It’s easy to see how this could affect the entire progression of a case, from convincing a witness to share information, to drawing out a false confession. This is just one area in which the integrity of the police waivers.
Chief Chitwood, however, made a decent point when he wrote to Judge Will that his department does not condone “officers fabricating evidence, falsifying police reports, lying in court or lying during internal proceedings.” But according to the courts and Chitwood himself, lying to the public is a different matter.
When you find yourself caught up in the criminal justice system, it’s stories like this that can lead to your extreme distrust in the police and prosecutor who would like nothing more than to “catch the bad guy.” It’s because of this that you need an advocate on your side throughout the process.
Whether you are accused of pot possession or something far more serious, we may be able to help. Contact our offices today to discuss the details of your case and what can be done.