Traffic Stop Prince William County Virginia Lawyer Intent Distribute Possession
Ruther v. Commonwealth
Police stopped and arrested defendant for reckless driving. After spotting cocaine in the car as they looked in the glove compartment for defendant’s operator’s license and vehicle registration, the police arrested defendant for possession. A further search of the car revealed more drugs. Defendant filed a motion to suppress the drugs. The trial court denied the motion, and defendant was convicted for possession of cocaine with the intent to distribute, possession of marijuana, driving on a suspended license, and speeding. Defendant appealed his conviction by the Circuit Court of the Prince William County (Virginia), for possession of cocaine with the intent to distribute, possession of marijuana, driving on a suspended license, and speeding.
- Whether the trial court properly denied the defendant’s suppress motion?
The court affirmed in part and reversed and dismissed in part. The court affirmed the trial court’s denial of the motion to suppress, holding that because the police were authorized by Va. Code Ann. § 19.2-81 to arrest defendant for reckless driving, the drugs were legally found in a search incident to a lawful arrest. The court, however, reversed the trial court’s finding convicting defendant of driving with a suspended license, because the record did not show that defendant was aware that his license was suspended. The court reversed and dismissed the trial court’s conviction of defendant for driving with a suspended license, affirmed the trial court’s denial of defendant’s motion to suppress, and affirmed the trial court’s conviction of defendant for possession of cocaine with the intent to distribute, possession of marijuana, and speeding
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Article written by A Sris
These summaries are provided by the SRIS Law Group. They represent the firm’s unofficial views of the Justices’ opinions. The original opinions should be consulted for their authoritative content.