Police in White Plains recently arrested three teenagers for marijuana possession after they allegedly tried to flee from law enforcement inside a local mall parking garage. Police claim to have spotted the teenagers, two 16 year olds and a 17 year old, smoking from a brown hand-rolled cigarette after officers on patrol detected the smell of marijuana.
The three allegedly fled after the officers approached them, with one exiting the garage and the other two getting caught before they could get away. Police supposedly uncovered a cigar with what appeared to be marijuana inside it and plastic bags with what they claim to be marijuana inside on the the teenagers. All three were charged with drug possession. Two of the teenagers were released on $250 bail, while the third was held for court.
Fleeing from the police, as the teenagers in this case stand accused of doing, is never helpful for a defendant, as it gives the impression that the person has something to hide from the police. New Yorkers who get stopped by the police should never under any circumstances flee the scene, as the police will give chase and catch the defendant, and doing so may add to the charges the person is facing. Nevertheless, the fear of being approached by police in any manner - even when one is doing nothing illicit whatsoever - can be unnerving and may provoke an emotional response from a defendant.
Anyone accused of drug possession or marijuana possession is constitutionally entitled to a presumption of innocence until guilt is proven beyond a reasonable doubt and a vigorous criminal defense. Defendants are entitled to question witnesses, challenge the admissibility of evidence and dispute the constitutionality of the charges. A legal professional may be able to help anyone accused of possessing illegal drugs to challenge the police version of events and fight to vindicate their innocence.
Source: White Plains Daily Voice, "Teens face possession charges after trying to flee cops," Brian Donnelly, May 10, 2013.