In late March, a 20-year-old Milwaukee resident was charged with possession of marijuana and possession of cocaine with intent to distribute after he was involved in an October incident in Greenfield. Because the man has a prior conviction, if he is convicted, he is subject to up to 21.5 years of imprisonment and fines of up to $35,000.
On Oct. 4, 2012, the man was pulled over by police in Greenfield for reasons that were not specified. As a result of the stop, officers arrested the man for several crimes, including drunk driving. Police allegedly found a loaded gun in his car, along with drug paraphernalia, marijuana and cocaine.
When a person is pulled over by police, there must be a reason for the stop. Police are not permitted stop a vehicle to check solely to search for evidence of crimes, unless they have probable cause as well as a search warrant for the vehicle. When a person is stopped without probable cause to believe that a crime or traffic violation has been committed, it may be a violation of the Fourth Amendment. If a judge finds that evidence was obtained in violation of the Constitution, it may not be used to establish guilt beyond a reasonable doubt.
A criminal defense lawyer may be able to dispute the grounds for the initial stop, which could lead to the suppression of any evidence that was located. A successful Motion to Suppress could also lead to the dismissal of all charges if the prosecution is left with no admissible evidence. For young offenders afflicted by alcohol or drug addiction, a lawyer may also be able to negotiate entry into a substance abuse treatment program as an alternative to an ineffective prison sentence.
Source: Greenfield Patch, "Man With Loaded Gun, Drugs in Car is Charged with Two Felonies," David Cotey, April 1, 2013