Imagine meeting a friend for lunch on a typical afternoon here in Morristown. Suddenly someone approaches, demanding to conduct a search — and then makes an arrest on drug charges.
It appears that this is essentially what happened earlier this month, when a Morristown police officer on plain clothes duty decided that a meeting between two men was, for whatever reason, suspicious. The officer approached the men, and while the details of the interaction are not available, both men were arrested and charged with multiple drug offenses.
One of the defendants, a man in his mid-thirties, faces charges of possessing heroin and synthetic marijuana, as well as intent to distribute. The other defendant, in his sixties, is only charged with possession of heroin and synthetic marijuana. Both were detained on $25,000 bail in Morris County jail.
Situations like this raise questions about the legality of the search and seizure that allegedly uncovered the illicit substances. One must ask, what supposedly gave a police officer the reasonable suspicion necessary to conduct a legal search? Did the officer see drugs being exchanged? Did he or she obtain the permission necessary, for example, to open a defendant’s car trunk or glove compartment and search?
If a search was conducted illegally — no matter what was allegedly found as a result — then the purported evidence may be thrown out by the court, often along with the charges themselves. A legal professional can help defendants determine whether this might be a potential defense in their drug cases.