A 20-year-old man was charged with possession of marijuana in Phoenixville, Pennsylvania, earlier this month. According to court information, a police officer saw the suspect enter an alley in a residential area. The officer asked the suspect if he resided in the vicinity. The man responded by saying "no" as he walked by the officer to leave the area. Police requested that the man stop at least twice, but the suspect ignored him. However, as he left, the officer said he saw something silver in the man's hand, which the officer may have believed was a weapon.
The officer reached toward the man's arm, but the suspect shouted at him. During a pat down, the officer found marijuana in a small jar rather than a weapon. The suspect was taken into custody. He now faces at least three drug charges, including possession of marijuana, possession of a controlled substance and possession of drug paraphernalia.
The state imposes mandatory penalties for some crimes, including drug offenses. If convicted, the suspect could be facing serious consequences. However, the courts understand that people often commit drug-related offenses because they have a substance abuse problem. They realize that prison or long periods of time in custody do not provide the rehabilitation that drug offenders need. Alternative options save the tax payers money and help the offender become a responsible member of society.
A criminal defense attorney can negotiate appropriate treatment options for clients who struggle with substance abuse. The lawyer will argue for the best interests of the suspect and defend his rights in court.
Source: Phoenixville Patch, "Man Arrested on Drug Charges After Alleged Altercation with Officer," Tom Sunnergren, Jan. 16, 2013