Kearny police arrested a defendant for Marijuana Possession, Drug Paraphernalia and Driving While Suspended after he was pulled over on the Belleville Pike for speeding and driving erratically. After being stopped, the officers smelled the distinct odor of burnt marijuana pouring out of the defendant’s vehicle. This obviously set off several red flags with the officers who also noticed partially smoked marijuana joints, known as roaches, strewn throughout the car in plain view. It is important to note that if police officers find contraband – or evidence of criminal activity in plain view – they are allowed to seize it and it also gives them probable cause to search the rest of the car for more contraband. In this case the subsequent search by the Kearny Police Officers turned up a bag of marijuana, 94 empty zip lock bags, a digital scale, and two grinders which led to the drug paraphernalia charge. The search also turned up a large bag of air fresheners which is sometimes referred to as a “stink sack”. Pot smokers keep these in their cars and close to their marijuana stash to cover up the strong smell of raw or burnt marijuana.
All the charges appear to be disorderly persons offenses, also referred to as misdemeanors, so the defendant will be required to appear in Kearny Municipal Court to address his charges. Disorderly persons offenses are criminal offenses which carry up to 6 months in county jail. Because the drugs were found in the defendant’s car, he is most likely facing a ticket for CDS in a Motor Vehicle which carries a two year loss of your driver’s license. These charges are serious and can result in a permanent record and a suspension of drivers license. Therefore it is always advised that you consult an experienced criminal defense lawyer and consider retaining an attorney to represent your interests.