Accessories in the criminal law are accused of aiding someone in the commission of a crime but only before or after the crime was committed. A criminal defendant can be accused of being an accessory to drug charges. This was illustrated by the recent arrest by New York State Police of a man for the felony of hindering the prosecution of another man who was being sought on a felony drug possession charge.
It is always important for defense counsel in New York to investigate closely the procedures used by police in making drug and contraband arrests in the aftermath of routine traffic stops. State and federal constitutional principles regarding search and seizure are important in that context. There may actually be little chance of finding and proving police irregularities in many traffic stop cases involving drug charges. However, the inquiry should nonetheless be made because there are always at least a small percentage of cases that are dismissed due to poor or improper police procedures.