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Criminal defense: Traffic stop leads to drug charges

The Town of Goshen was the site of a traffic stop that led to a drug-related arrest. A 21-year-old man now faces drug charges following the stop, which occurred on Feb. 4 on Route 17. He has since been arraigned and is awaiting trial in a New York county jail. If he is found guilty, he could face a far longer jail stay. He is likely focused on preparing his criminal defense alongside his legal counsel at this time.

State troopers stopped the man for what they said was a violation of the vehicle and traffic law, though they did not expand upon what these violations may have constituted. This led to a search of the man and his vehicle, which resulted in police recovering what they believe to be 4.5 ounces of crack cocaine. It is unclear whether they were granted a search warrant in advance of this search, or if they had cause to initiate it onsite. 

The man now stands charged with felony second and third-degree criminal possession of a controlled substance. He also faces two misdemeanor charges of second-degree use of drug paraphernalia and obstruction of governmental administration, though the reason for the latter is not included in this report. He is being held without bail. 

While felony drug charges carry a heavy sentence in New York, prosecutors must first prove beyond reasonable doubt that the man is in fact guilty of the charges filed against him. Drug cases can be problematic in court because of the role human error and failure to follow established procedures can play in the search and arrest processes. The man's criminal defense counsel may choose to scrutinize the arrest record for signs that the search was improperly conducted, or that the man's rights were violated in the course of his arrest.

Source: recordonline.com, "Route 17 traffic stop leads to drug charges for Pennsylvania man", Michael Randall, Accessed on March 3, 2018

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