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Defendant Contends She Did Not Know She was Possessing Drugs

A New York Criminal Lawyer said this case involves a 17 year old juvenile who is challenging an adjudication made against her for possession of drug paraphernalia.

Case Background

The girl was driving her car with three friends. She was involved in a car accident. When the police arrived at the scene of the accident the driver’s side door was opened. The juvenile stated that the car belonged to her mom, but she used it quite often. The officer looked in the car through the open door and saw a glass item on the floorboard. He recognized it as a pipe that is often used to smoke illegal substances.

A New York Criminal Lawyer said the officer told the juvenile that because he saw the pipe on the floor he had probable cause to search the entire vehicle. During his search the officer found a green leafy substance all over the car. He collected the substance, but a chemical test was not performed on it. He also found rolling papers and a pair of tweezers that had a burnt substance on the edge.

Case Discussion

A New York Drug Possession Lawyer said the juvenile was charged with possession of marijuana, less than 20 grams, which is considered a misdemeanor. She was also charged with possession of drug paraphernalia for the glass pipe, tweezers, and rolling papers.

At the hearing the only witness for the state was the police officer. The juvenile testified in the hearing as well. She stated that she was with her three friends and none of them had used marijuana before the accident occurred.

The juvenile testified that she did not know that the marijuana was in the vehicle. She stated that she was the only one that had driven the car in the past day, but did not realize what was in the glove box.
The trial court found that the state failed to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that the juvenile possessed the marijuana. However, the adjudicated her delinquent for possession of drug paraphernalia.

Case Decision

A New York Sex Crime Lawyer said the court found that the state had failed to prove prima facie that the juvenile was in possession of the marijuana, but held her accountable for the paraphernalia. The court is reversing this charge and ruling in favor of the defendant. The court finds that the state also failed to prove prima facie that the defendant was in possession of the drug paraphernalia.

If you need to speak with a lawyer regarding a drug related offense, contact Stephen Bilkis & Associates. We can help you with any type of legal issue that you have. Stop by one of our New York City offices to speak with a lawyer during a free consultation.

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