Posts tagged "Drug Charges"
Getting stopped by police can be a stressful event, even when you have absolutely no reason to worry. You have not committed a crime and you were going the speed limit. Yet, when those flashing lights appear in your rear view mirror your heart rate may pick up.
In our last post, we wrote about a June Supreme Court ruling that gives police greater powers to conduct unwarranted searches of suspects. Let's say that an officer stops someone without reasonable suspicion of criminal activity, demands ID and then runs a background check on that person. The background check reveals an outstanding arrest warrant for something minor like a traffic infraction. The officer uses this as a justification for searching the suspect.
It is estimated that about 1.2 million people in New York City have outstanding arrest warrants. While this number is probably higher than in most cities, the problem of outstanding warrants is common. Most are related to minor infractions like unpaid parking tickets, so enforcing them is a rather low priority for police departments most of the time.
It was a stupid move. She knows it, and basically admitted to it in court. But then, a young woman in love does stupid things. Anyone who has been young and in love can remember a decision or two that makes them cringe in retrospect. Unfortunately, this young woman's decision could have cost her decades behind bars.
Nearly half of all states have legalized marijuana (or marijuana-derived products) for medicinal use, including New York. This has reduced the vast number of individuals prosecuted each year for non-violent drug offenses. But it has also led to confusion and legal snags.
Change is in the air ... or is that pot? Depending on which state you are in, the smell of marijuana in the air may be a legal one, at least under state law. Although many states like New York continue to outlaw the sale of marijuana, a handful like Colorado has made possession of the drug legal. Federal law remains the same, leading to one of the many issues world leaders tackled at a recent session at the United Nations.
Americans are becoming increasingly critical of the way that our criminal justice system handles drug offenses and those who commit them. The nation's prisons are full of non-violent drug offenders (disproportionately minorities) serving lengthy sentences. The public now seems to understand that drug abuse and addiction are public health epidemics, not criminal cases.