Depending on the type of DWI or drug DUI offense, the evidence against a motorist can portend some stiff penalties, in terms of fines, fees and assessments, as well as possible jail time. Regardless of the ultimate charges, it is safe to say that most every impaired driving arrest sometimes starts with a simple mistake made by a driver in the presence of a police officer. This can happen in small towns, larger cities or on the parkway or interstate.
No one can say what basic traffic law may be breached in order for a municipal cop or state trooper to effect a roadside stop, but once it does happen, all bets are off. Any evidence discovered during the ensuing traffic stop will likely be used by the prosecution in an effort to obtain a guilty verdict later in court. As Garden State DWI defense attorneys, my legal team is ready and willing to offer its expertise to those driver accused of drunken driving or drug-impaired motor vehicle operation.
Aside from DWI or DUI, other charges — either tied to an impaired driving charge or arising from the initial traffic stop — may be forthcoming. Breath test refusal, possession of a controlled dangerous substance (CDS), or other infraction may also result in an arrest and possible charges against the motorist. We often read of instances where people have been pulled over for one reason, only to be taken into custody for something less expected, at least to the police and third-party observers. Take for instance a news item we ran across a little while ago.
According to news reports, a driver from the Beachwood, NJ, area was stopped late on a Tuesday morning by a mobile police patrol along a stretch of Rte 571 in Manchester Township. Police reportedly pulled the 23-year-old Ocean County resident over after what must be assumed was a routine traffic offense or vehicle infraction. Upon investigation, the officer in charge said that he detected the smell of raw marijuana as he approached the suspect’s vehicle, but found more than just the CDS in question.
According to the police report, during the 10am traffic stop the officer discovered that the driver was carrying not only marijuana, but a number of weapons as well, including a dagger, a blow gun and a collapsible police baton. In addition to these items, the officer found drug paraphernalia. Reportedly having no legitimate reason for having the aforesaid weapons, the patrolman arrested the man on two counts of unlawful possession of a weapon, plus possession of a CDS and possession of related drug paraphernalia.
Now, following what was likely a simple traffic offense, this motorist was facing both drug and weapons charges. Granted, the driver admitted to having no valid reason for having those weapons in his possession, but this doesn’t mean that his case is doomed to an eventual guilty verdict. There are more reasons than one to consult with a qualified DWI-DUI defense lawyer, and situations such as this one are examples of the need to have an experienced advocate on one’s side when a case comes before a judge.
Beachwood Man Had Pot, Weapons in Car, Police Say; Patch.com; October 30, 2013