A 23-year-old Pennsylvania man is facing criminal charges after allegedly crashing his car into a concrete barrier. Witnesses report that the man was driving recklessly and swerving into oncoming traffic. The vehicle was pulled over by police, who reported that the man appeared to be under the influence. Police searched the vehicle and allegedly found 24 individual packets of heroin and marijuana.
The Pennsylvania man is now facing drug charges for criminal possession of a controlled substance in the third degree. He is also facing a charge for driving while ability impaired by drugs.
Someone facing drug charges may have several defenses available to them if they should choose to plead not guilty. If the police conducted a search, as they did in this case, due process requires that they follow lawful search and seizure procedures. If illicit drugs are found in plain view or if the driver consents to a search of the vehicle the seized drugs may be entered into evidence. If, however, police find the drugs in the trunk of the vehicle they may be excluded from evidence because the search was not lawful. When evidence is excluded the charges are often dismissed.
Someone facing drug charges may also say that the drugs belonged to someone else, that the drugs were planted by law enforcement or that they are not actually the illicit drug the prosecution is claiming them to be, although these defenses are uncommon. Prosecutors must be able to produce the actual drugs that were seized. If the prosecutor does not have the actual drugs the case may be dismissed.
Source: Your News Now, “Pennsylvania man arrested on drug charges,” July 29, 2013