A 20-year-old New York man has been arrested following an Oct. 22 traffic stop in Montgomery County. Authorities claim to have discovered 3.6 grams of marijuana and 0.3 grams of ecstasy in his vehicle, for which he received numerous drug charges including unlawful possession of marijuana and misdemeanor seventh-degree criminal possession of a controlled substance.
The man was pulled over after officers allegedly observed him speeding through the town of Glen. After contacting the driver, police say that they could smell marijuana in the vehicle, and a subsequent search is claimed to have discovered the substances in question. The driver has been given the option of a $5,000 bond or $2,500 cash bail.
Someone who has been accused of drug offenses could potentially face serious consequences if they're convicted. Many drug charges can result in lengthy prison sentences and large fines. Traffic stops generally revolve around two legal standards of investigation: reasonable suspicion and probable cause. For a proper arrest, officers must satisfy both standards by showing that they had reasonable suspicion of wrongdoing prior to pulling over the vehicle and that they had probable cause to arrest the defendant.
Since both of these standards leave room for subjectivity, an attorney representing someone accused of drug offenses may thoroughly review the nature and circumstances of the traffic stop and the step-by-step narrative of the entire encounter. It may be possible to introduce evidence that undermines the prosecution's case, or negotiate for a reduction of charges so that their client may avoid serious penalties in the incident.
Source: Utica Observer Dispatch, "Utica man faces drug charges after Thruway stop", October 22, 2013