A man was recently arrested in New Jersey for committing a drug crime. His arrest took place after police performed what started out as a seemingly ordinary check of a parked car. The man may benefit from a strong criminal defense in light of the drug charges he is facing.
The incident occurred shortly before 1:30 a.m. on a Sunday. Police said they were performing patrols in some residential neighborhoods and came across a white car that was parked on a dead end road. Two men were reportedly in the car.
When police went over to the car to check on it, it pulled out and headed to a major thoroughfare. Police then followed the white car and pulled it over. While questioning the two men, police allegedly smelled marijuana coming from inside the car. Then, when they searched the car, they reportedly found a small bag with marijuana in it, as well as an open whiskey bottle. The driver told police that the items were his, and he was taken into custody.
The man’s charges include drug possession, disregarding a stop sign and possessing an open alcohol bottle in a car. However, he is presumed innocent until and unless the prosecution can prove his guilt beyond a reasonable doubt at trial. There is no charge in New Jersey called “open container of alcohol,” although it is often uncorrectly referred to as that. Rather, the actual statute is N.J.S.A. 39:4-51a, Consumption of alcoholic beverage by operator or passenger. As the title indicates, the statute prohibits consumption of alcohol while the vehicle is being operated. Further, in this case, there may be grounds to file a motion to suppress the evidence seize for the lack of probable cause for the motor vehicle stop and warrantless search. With the assistance of a skilled and qualified Certified Criminal Trial Attorney in New Jersey, a defendant will be able to obtain the most favorable outcome.
Source: njherald.com, “Check of Wantage driver’s vehicle leads to drug charges,” Lori Comstock, Jan. 30, 2018