After two women were arrested in Arkansas on Thursday, Feb. 19 while walking in an allegedly intoxicated condition on the roadway in front of traffic, one of them got the bonus of having police arrest a man who was allegedly involved in an assault on her earlier in the day. The police got enough facts in interviewing the female violator to find out that she had been a victim of domestic violence. They arrested the 23-year-old man for domestic battery.
The two women were allegedly walking on the roadway in front of traffic in Flippin. The Flippin police were called to the scene and allegedly found the two women in an intoxicated state. They arrested the women, one a 19 year old from Leslie and one a 21 year old from Harriet, for public intoxication.
The 19-year-old woman was also charged with possession of drug paraphernalia, which is a class D felony, due to the alleged finding of a methamphetamine smoking device in her purse. With respect to that most serious charge, defense counsel will likely examine whether there was reasonable cause to search the purse in the first place. Although a frisk of a person's body may be allowable pursuant to a stop for public intoxication, it is questionable whether that right would be extended to the woman's closed purse. Additionally, it may be questionable whether the "device" found in the purse can support a conviction for a drug paraphernalia charge.
That issue will require further exploration by the woman's counsel to determine whether it fits within the definition of paraphernalia, as the term has been defined in prior cases. At the least, a motion to dismiss based on suppression of the purse and its contents will likely be filed by her defense counsel. Regarding the man arrested for domestic violence, his position is further complicated by the fact that he was on parole and is now being held on a no-bond parole hold filed by the Arkansas Department of Community Correction.
Source: baxterbulletin.com, "Flippin PD arrests three", Feb. 20, 2015