When authorities in New York stop a driver, a series of questions will most likely ensue. This could lead to tests to establish impairment or even a frisk to determine alleged hidden dangers. These steps could possibly result in an arrest, especially if contraband is discovered on an individual’s person or within his or her vehicle. A simple traffic stop could turn into a drug charge. A driver should therefore be aware of his or her rights during the stop and, if charged for drug possession, he or she should assess their defense options.
Following a stop for failing to wear a seat belt, New York State Police ended up charging the 45-year-old driver with seventh-degree criminal possession of a controlled substance as well as possession of marijuana. According to reports, during the traffic stop, authorities allegedly discovered that the driver had two warrants for arrest based on drug charges.
After this discovery, officers began a search of the driver. During that search, officers supposedly discovered a small rock of crack cocaine as well as marijuana. This led to his arrest on drug charges. These charges could mean serious penalties such as fines and jail time.
In order to reduce the impact of these charges on the defendant’s personal and professional life, he or she should put forth the best defense possible. Further investigation could be conducted in order to establish whether the stop, search and arrest were properly conducted. If authorities did not properly carry out these steps, the defendant could suppress any subsequently gathered evidence. This could ultimately lead to reduced or dropped charges.
Whether a defendant decides to devise a defense strategy or negotiate a plea bargain, he or she should be knowledgeable about his or her rights and options. All defendants are entitled to a strong defense and they should seek guidance about the steps required to ensure their rights are protected.
Source: WIVB, “Seat belt stop leads to drug charges,” Emily Lenihan, June 9, 2014