Recently, police in Glendon, Pennsylvania arrested a Brooklyn, New York man for drug possession after finding his car stopped in the middle of the freeway and finding cocaine inside his car. The man's car was parked and running in the middle of the eastbound lane of I-78, obstructing traffic. The man was found in a stupor, with a white powder near his nostrils. Police also found a baggie with white powder inside, as well as straws, cash, and what was suspected to be cocaine, heroin, and meth. Law enforcement arrested the man on drug charges, specifically, drug possession, possessing drug paraphernalia, driving under the influence, driving with a suspended license, and careless driving. The man was treated for a possible drug overdose, and was held on $250,000 bail.
In drug possession cases, it is important to ascertain whether or not police properly seized the contraband. For the search and seizure of contraband to be constitutionally valid, police must either have a warrant, or the contraband must be within the plain view of the officer. In the context of automobiles, for the evidence to be within plain sight, it cannot be in the trunk of the automobile, but it may be on or under the seats or in the glove compartment. This is to protect the defendant's Fourth Amendment right against unreasonable searches and seizures.
This case illustrates the dangers of drug usage. The man stopped his car on the freeway while under the influence, which could very well have led to a traffic accident. In addition, it is possible that he could have overdosed on the drugs, thus killing himself. Regardless of the circumstances, drug charges are a serious matter.
In drug possession cases, the constitutional validity of the search and seizure of the evidence is vital. If the court finds that the evidence was improperly obtained, the charges against the defendant could be reduced or discarded entirely. Thus, any defendant charged with drug charges is entitled to an aggressive criminal defense, including the challenging of the constitutionality of the search and seizure of the contraband. In drug possession cases, this is often the difference between a guilty verdict and an acquittal.
Source: WFMZ.com, "N.Y. man in drug stupor arrested after parking car on I-78, police said," Len Righi, December 17, 2012.