Being charged with a drug offense can be a serious legal matter in Florida and elsewhere. Police officers sometimes find drug involvement in situations they investigate even when drug use is not the central issue. This occurred in New York City in May when a prominent rapper was arrested on drug charges after initially being interrogated following a traffic stop. The series of events surrounding this case presents a couple of legal issues with one being whether the police should have ever been involved.
The entertainer was riding in a vehicle with several others and refused to provide an identification to the officer when requested during the traffic stop. The driver is said to have complied according to state law. The officers claim to have detected a marijuana odor coming from the SUV, and the rapper allegedly became combative and was eventually arrested after the vehicle was searched. The group that was accompanying the rapper recorded what was happening with several witnesses claiming that authorities were harassing the rapper.
All states typically determine how charges apply based the total weight of seized drugs, but in this case, the fact that the substance was packaged in six bags reportedly established grounds for a criminal citation on drug charges. The problem with the case is that the rapper was arrested for disorderly conduct for refusing to present an ID and was issued two court summons, one for possession of marijuana. Both disorderly conduct and possession in New York are violations but not criminal matters, and it’s possible that proper application of the drug charges should have been filed against the driver as the drugs were reportedly found in the vehicle and not on the person of the arrested suspect.
The material details of this case are an example of how police can make improper arrests and detain people when just issuing a citation would suffice. Events like this happen in Florida as well. An experienced criminal defense attorney may conduct a separate investigation into the case and move for dismissal when questionable evidence is being used to prosecute.