When it comes to drug charges, no accusation should be considered trivial. The potential fallout for anyone in New Jersey, just from the allegation, can be huge. Employment can be affected. Educational opportunities could be lost. And it doesn't matter if the substance involved is aprescription narcotics or cocaine.
Oftentimes, the drug-related charge stems from a less serious infraction. Authorities will use suspicion of a traffic infraction to pull someone over and then expand the action into something more. In such a situation, it's important to remember that every person has a right to remain silent. And it is always advisable to exercise that right and to call an attorney in the face of police questioning.
This comes to mind in the wake of the arrest this week in Delaware of a Trenton man and a companion from California. According to the Delaware State Police, an officer pulled the men over Tuesday morning for failing to signal a lane change. A spokesman for the agency says that in the course of the stop, the trooper became suspicious of the driver and asked to search their car. Officials say they allowed the search.
The search reportedly turned up a duffel bag and officials say that in that bag they found 7 pounds of marijuana. The two men were arrested and have since been charged with felony possession of marijuana, drug paraphernalia possession and conspiracy. The driver also was cited for the alleged lane change violation. At last word, they were both being held on $27,000 bail each.
Readers should remember that in cases of alleged drug possession, there are some important questions that deserve to be asked regarding collection of evidence by police. These include:
- Did the police have reasonable cause to conduct their search?
- Did any other people have access to your car, raising the issue of whether the substance found belonged to someone else?
Contacting an attorney may be key in getting useful answers to these questions.
Source: The News Journal, "Two men arrested following traffic stop near Laurel," Terri Sanginiti, May 9, 2012