People in Suffolk and everywhere else in the world are human, and as such, make mistakes. Driving while under the influence is one such mistake people make on a seemingly daily basis. The ordeal of being pulled over, sobriety tested and possibly charged with DUI is a big enough issue; but when being arrested for DWI results in other charges as well, the situation can become even more serious.
A 40-year-old man was stopped and ultimately arrested and charged with driving under the influence on April 21, 2012. During a search of the man’s vehicle, Southampton officers discovered a loaded gun in the glove compartment of the car. He was then charges with criminal possession of a weapon.
Being charged with additional crimes is always a risk when a person is pulled over for any reason, whether it’s suspicion of DUI, a broken taillight or failing to stop completely at a stop sign. This is why it is important that as soon as you are formally charged, you consider speaking to a legal professional. These individuals can ensure that the arrest and subsequent search of your person and possessions, including your car, were done correctly. If not, they can bring this issue up in court.
In this man particular case, the district attorney found that the officer did not have cause to search the man’s vehicle, therefore the discovery of the loaded firearm was not admissible in court. The judge agreed and the possession charge was dropped. The man did, however, plead guilty to driving under the influence and will be sentenced on Jan. 8, 2014.
Although the man is facing some sort of a penalty for the DUI charge, it will most certainly be less severe without the firearm possession charge. This is why a legal professional should be involved in your defense. Getting caught driving under the influence is difficult enough, but dealing with additional charges that may or may not be legal is another issue entirely and should be analyzed by someone who knows the legal system.
Source: NBC New York, “School Teacher Pleads Guilty to DWI; Issue with Search of Vehicle Results in Dismissal of Weapons Charge” Dana Klosner, Nov. 14, 2013