The Passaic County Sheriff’s Office announced that a 15-year-old from Paterson was recently taken into custody after he was allegedly found in possession of a loaded handgun during a routine traffic stop.The Passaic County Sheriff’s Office announced that a 15-year-old from Paterson was recently taken into custody after he was allegedly found in possession of a loaded handgun during a routine traffic stop. Two others were also charged in connection with this case, each of whom are accused of drug offenses.
Passaic County Sheriff Richard Berdnik said that officers from the Sheriff’s Department stopped a BMW carrying multiple occupants on Saturday, May 30th in Paterson’s 1st Ward. Officers initially stopped the vehicle for alleged motor vehicle violations, but reported that the juvenile was patted down shortly thereafter.
When the juvenile put his hands on the car, the officers said that a .40 caliber, semi-automatic Springfield Armory handgun fell out of his left pant leg and hit the ground. The young man was then taken into custody and is now facing charges for drug offenses involving heroin and marijuana, which were reportedly discovered in the vehicle, as well as charges for gun possession.
The young man was released with an order to wear an electronic monitoring bracelet after appearing before a Passaic County Family Court Judge. There was another 16-year-old juvenile who was also in the car at the time and is also facing charges. Their identities remain undisclosed due to their status as juveniles. On the other hand, authorities revealed the identity of the adult who was reportedly driving the vehicle, 18-year-old Paterson resident, Jeremy Rodriguez, who has also been charged in connection with this case.
When presented with the above scenario, a knowledgeable attorney first wonders: was there probable cause for a search of the juvenile Why was the defendant asked to step out of the vehicle and subsequently searched When was the search of the vehicle conducted and on what grounds Did the juvenile or the driver of the car consent to a search
These questions are extraordinarily important in cases of this kind because the officers must establish probable cause for a search in order to meet what is known as the “probable cause requirement.” Essentially, the defendants are guaranteed the right to protection from unreasonable searches under the Fourth Amendment of the United States Constitution. As such, any evidence obtained during a search that violated their constitutional rights will be inadmissible in a court of law.
Inadmissible evidence, particularly in cases involving unlawful possession of weapons or controlled dangerous substances, can often provide an attorney with the leverage necessary to negotiate with the prosecution for a reduction in charges or grounds to move for a dismissal of the charges altogether.
For additional information related to this case, access the following article: Paterson youth arrested on loaded gun charges released within 4 days