A Massachusetts man pulled over in Hingham for suspected OUI / DUI Charges is arrested and additionally charged with Drug Crimes.
The defendant, Stephen Conte, was pulled over by Hingham Police for allegedly operating under the influence of alcohol this past weekend when police saw his car swerve and hit a snow bank. After the vehicle backed up and continued driving, the officer turned his cruiser around but reportedly lost sight of the car.
According to Hingham police, the defendant's car was located and speeding, and was eventually pulled over.
Police allege that the operator appeared confused and ignored officers' questions as to whether he had been drinking. He was subsequently arrested for operating under the influence of alcohol.
Prosecutors further alleged that located within the vehicle were an open container of alcohol as well as marijuana on the floor of the car. Police reportedly also seized a backpack with containing marijuana, oxycodone pills, digital scales and other drug paraphernalia, as well as $3,500 cash.
The defendant was ultimately charged with Operating Under the Influence of Alcohol; Failure to Stop for Police; and Possession with Intent to Distribute Drugs.
Although cases such as these may appear to be 'lost causes', the specific details of what the officers did or did not see and their actions in pulling over and searching the defendant may lead to circumstances warranting some defensible issues.
For instance, the circumstances giving rise to the allegations of OUI / DUI may be weak the defendant may have a very defensible case against this charge. Well what about the drugs in the car?
Following an arrest, police must follow certain procedures and the defendant is still entitled to certain constitutional protections concerning his property, in this case, the vehicle. If the circumstances involving the officers' search and seizure of the evidence violated any constitutional rights, the defendant may challenge their seizure. If successful, the evidence would be excluded or 'suppressed' from being introduced at trial against him.