A 33-year-old Upper Marlboro man was arrested on drug distribution charges after a traffic stop in St. Leonard. According to reports, an officer with the Calvert County Sheriff's Office pulled over a vehicle on Maryland Route 4 northbound on December 30th.
The officer immediately detected a strong odor of marijuana, and a subsequent search of the vehicle revealed plastic bags with substantial amounts of the drug. As a result, the Upper Marlboro man and another 33-year-old man from Lexington Park were charged with possession and possession with an intent to distribute.
The criminal defense to such charges can be two-fold. First and foremost, police officers are required to abide by the U.S. Constitution and Maryland law when conducting a traffic stop. This means that they must have reasonable suspicion to pull you over. If a minor traffic violation warranted the stop, police need additional cause to search the vehicle. In the event the officers did not follow the proper procedure and violated the rights of the vehicle's occupants, any evidence obtained may be deemed inadmissible in court.
The effect of such a defense may be to have the charges completely dismissed. Alternatively, if police did abide by the applicable law, drug charges can be defended on multiple fronts. While the war on drugs has led to strict laws on possession and distribution of illegal substances, there are ways to undermine the severity of a drug crime.
Whether it be disproving the intent element or contesting the amount, local Upper Marlboro criminal defense lawyers can show you the proper strategy. These professionals can help you from the start of your case to the end, from plea negotiation to trial, and make sure your penalties are limited.
Source: Southern Maryland News Net, "Two Men Arrested on Distribution Charges in St. Leonard," January 6, 2015