Imagine that you’re driving along, enjoying your 40 oz beer, when, suddenly, a big fat bag of cocaine manages to fly through your open window. Just as that happens, a police officer pulls you over. It may sound like it’s made up, but that’s exactly what happened to local motorist Zak Joseph. He says he was trying to enjoy his beer on the open road, but when cops pulled him over and searched him, they found a bag of crack cocaine, allegedly in his possession. Joseph told the police officers that he had no idea how the crack cocaine got there and speculated that it must have been blown into his vehicle by a strong gust of wind.
According to police, they had spotted Joseph drinking in his vehicle in a hotel parking lot. The police say that the hotel is a “hotbed” of illegal drugs and prostitution. That must have been where the cocaine blew into his vehicle. Fortunately for Joseph, the crack cocaine had all been smoked so there was only residue left in the bag.
Joseph will be charged with possession of drug paraphernalia, rolling through a stop sign, and DUI.
Possession of Drug Paraphernalia
According to police, they observed Joseph rolling through a stop sign and trying to hide his large beer. When they pulled him over, they said he became confrontational. The police eventually found an empty baggie that tested positive for cocaine.
In Florida, possession of drug paraphernalia is the unlawful possession of any object that is meant for drug use. This includes baggies, pipes, scales, straws, or just about anything else. The existence of residue on a baggie can be used as evidence that the baggie is drug paraphernalia. Possession of drug paraphernalia is considered a first-degree misdemeanor and is punishable by up to a year in jail.
Defenses to Drug Paraphernalia Possession
While “it blew into my window somehow” is not considered a popular defense to possession of drug paraphernalia, there are several defenses that are reasonable. For instance, if the vehicle did not belong to Joseph and belonged to someone else, Joseph would be able to argue that the others had access to the vehicle and hence the prosecution couldn’t prove that the baggie was Joseph’s. The prosecution would have to demonstrate that Joseph had knowledge of the drug paraphernalia to successfully charge him.
Additionally, Joseph could argue that someone stuffed the paraphernalia in his car to hide it from the police or that he took momentary possession of the drug paraphernalia under coercion. Neither seems likely to help him out in this case.
While this may not be the case here, there is likely some person out there who has had a crack baggie fly into their car unbeknownst to them and can be charged under draconian anti-baggie statutes.
Talk to a West Palm Beach Criminal Defense Attorney
If a crack baggie mysteriously flies into your car, then you need an attorney who will fight for your rights and ensure you don’t have a possession conviction on your criminal record. Talk to the West Palm Beach criminal attorneys at the Skier Law Firm, P.A. today for more information.