If one could find a list of rules that is followed by criminal perpetrators, it would likely contain the admonition not to speed or engage in reckless driving when transporting drugs in one's vehicle. It would probably warn against engaging the police in a car chase while having a suspended driver's license and/or while one's gas tank is empty. One New York man appears to have violated all of those precepts recently while speeding on State Route 66. He was apprehended on drug charges and related offenses when his car ran out of gas in Nassau.
The New York State Police say that they found the man with a controlled opioid substance and two hypodermic needles. They reported that he was also driving without a license. They charged him with possession of controlled drugs, fleeing a police officer and aggravated unlicensed operation.
With respect to the drug charges, it is likely that the police would have the right to search the man after being compelled to chase him down on a speeding violation. The surrounding circumstances probably give the police reasonable grounds to search the vehicle in the event that a body frisk did not produce contraband. Therefore, if the facts reported by the police are for the most part true, then counsel will likely negotiate with the authorities for a plea bargain.
If counsel substantiates that there is no search and seizure issue, then charges are likely to hold up in a criminal prosecution. The man's possible drug addiction could temper the punishment for the drug charges pursuant to current New York law. However, in this case the alleged instigation of a police chase is something that would put lives and the safety of the public in danger, thus warranting a more serious sentence on the fleeing the police and suspended license charges. A seasoned criminal defense attorney will use the benefits of experience and his or her deep knowledge of such situations to obtain the best outcome possible for the client.
Source: news10.com, "Police chase suspect runs out of gas, arrested on drug charges", Kevin O'Toole, July 31, 2016