A 17-year-old girl was recently arrested after New York police responded to an alleged traffic violation. The girl is now facing drug charges, but was released from police custody under the supervision of a day-reporting program. A male passenger was also arrested in the same incident on different charges.
Reportedly, police were responding to a reckless driving complaint at about 9:30 p.m. when they pulled over the 17-year-old girl's vehicle. A search of the vehicle purportedly uncovered five baggies of cocaine in the center console, in addition to 36 ecstasy pills on the girl's person. News reports did not reveal on what basis authorities searched the vehicle, the driver or the passenger. The 21-year-old male was also allegedly found to be in the possession of a loaded handgun.
Reportedly, the girl now faces two counts of third-degree criminal possession of a controlled substance, as well as drug trafficking charges. She was additionally issued tickets for driving without a license and for other unspecified traffic violations. The young man with her was charged with second-degree criminal possession of a weapon.
In this case, it may seem difficult to believe that a 17-year-old girl would be involved in drug trafficking. Furthermore, teenagers frequently make mistakes, and sometimes their mistakes bring about criminal charges. While young people should certainly try to learn from their actions, they should not necessarily pay extreme and long-lasting consequences for a youthful lapse in judgment.
Here, questions may well exist as to how the police discovered the evidence that led to the drug charges. Officers typically need probable or reasonable cause before searching a vehicle, and as the alleged narcotics were in a concealed location, the absence of probable cause may lead a New York court to deem the evidence illegally seized. In resolving these issues, both the girl and the young man will need to mount a robust and aggressive defense in the interest of a fair result.
Source: ithacajournal.com, "17-year-old charged with drug trafficking," Raymand Drumsta, Nov. 22, 2011