A routine traffic stop in Howell recently resulted in serious drug charges for a Freehold man, after what began as a stop for an alleged seat belt violation proceeded into accusations of heroin possession and distribution, among other offenses.
According to officials from the Howell Police Department, 37-year-old Freehold resident Paul L. Bradshaw was originally pulled over just prior to 2:00 p.m. on Friday, October 9th on Route 9 in Howell, for allegedly driving without a seat belt. During the traffic stop, officers say they smelled the odor of marijuana, after which they requested that Bradshaw exit his vehicle.
As the incident proceeded, Bradshaw reportedly turned over a small amount of marijuana before attempting to flee the scene. Officers pursued Bradshaw and took him into custody shortly thereafter. Further investigation of the scene revealed 50 wax folds of heroin located on the ground near Bradshaw’s vehicle, as well as an additional package containing marijuana in the fuel door of his car.
Bradshaw is now facing charges for possession of heroin, heroin distribution, possession of marijuana, marijuana distribution, possession of drug paraphernalia, resisting arrest, and obstructing the administration of the law. He was being detained at the Monmouth County jail with bail set at $100,000.
Notably, the seat belt violation is essential to the success of this case against Bradshaw, because it provides probable cause for the initial motor vehicle stop. If the State cannot establish that this infraction actually occurred, then all of the charges that followed are essentially invalid in a court of law. Similarly, the “odor of marijuana” provided probable cause for the officers’ further investigation. If they had not smelled this odor, then the search of the vehicle, the evidence confiscated, and the charges stemming from it are also inadmissible.
Evidence suppression becomes exceedingly important in cases of possession, perhaps most frequently during issues arising from motor vehicle stops. These strategies can be extremely effective in mounting a successful defense, which is why a knowledgeable attorney should thoroughly investigate the circumstances of the incident, corresponding police report, and alleged facts of the case when seeking to achieve a dismissal on your behalf.
For additional information related to this incident, access the following article: Man ditches heroin, tries to outrun cops, police say
As always, we are pleased answer any and all of your questions. Simply contact our Monmouth County offices at 732-440-3950 for a free consultation.