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There are a lot of things you can learn from last week's arrest of Broward County Assistant State Attorney Molena Mompoint -- keep your plate tags up to date, don't volunteer unnecessary information. But the big one is this: beware of the company you keep.
Mompoint was stopped for driving a car with long-since expired tags and not using a turn signal. She ended up in cuffs, charged with methamphetamine possession, suspended without pay, and she's become a national headline.
Her defense? The drugs were left behind by her "attorney friends."
This is Not What You Do When Stopped By Cops
You'd think a prosecutor would know better than to volunteer information.
After Mompoint was pulled over for her suspicious tags, which according to NBC Miami, expired in 2012 and were not registered to her vehicle, police officers asked her if there was anything illegal inside of the vehicle.
This is the point where we'd usually advise laypeople to exercise their right to remain silent. Instead, Mompoint reportedly said that "she did not know, however she previously had some attorney friends in her car that had 'smoked weed' and 'had Molly.'"
As you might expect, this led to a search which turned up one clear capsule that contained a powdery substance that tested positive for meth.
Her case is in the process of being reassigned to a State Attorney's Office in another circuit to avoid a conflict.
Beware of Friends
Let's take Mompoint at her word: it was a friend's pill.
You've got to be smarter than that, as an attorney, as a prosecutor, as an adult. It's one thing for a barely educated professional athlete to fall from grace due to bad company, (how many times have we heard that one?), but not only are educated professional adults expected to exercise better judgment, but you're a lawyer and a prosecutor. Maturity and all of that other crap aside, you have a lot to lose at this point -- your job, your reputation, and if the charges are severe enough, your license.
It's a good reminder for all of us, especially young attorneys that finally have a disposable income after years of stressful school: be careful. We have a lot more to lose from a stupid act than the average twenty-something.
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