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Drug charges follow man after chase with the Laconia police

When a police officer stops a vehicle for a traffic violation, there may be other consequences. In some cases, additional suspicions may lead to a search and ultimately drug charges, along with other alleged violations. In one recent New Hampshire case, a Laconia police officer was allegedly trying to arrest a 26-year-old man on an outstanding warrant after a traffic stop.

When the officer opened the car door to make the arrest, the operator allegedly stepped on the gas and took off with the door still open. The officer reportedly fell on the ground as the car sped away. A chase occurred involving other Laconia police. Eventually, the police say that they decided not to engage the speeding suspect further in order to protect lives.

They later apprehended him hiding in some bushes after he allegedly abandoned the car. When the police found him, they allege that they found Suboxone and a pipe on him. He is charged with possession with intent to distribute a narcotic drug, disobeying an officer and resisting arrest. Despite that the defendant seems to face substantial evidence of guilt, there may be room for defense counsel to assert one or more defenses, at least to obtain a favorable plea bargain.

The intent to deliver charge may be a bit far-fetched under the facts. Suboxone is a controlled substance, but it is not of the severity of heroin or oxycodone. It is used to treat people who have stopped using heroin and is considered less addictive than Methadone. The drug usually contains an antagonist chemical that gives the person severe reactions if a narcotic is mixed with it.

The police must prove that a physician did not prescribe the drug to the suspect. Further, there would have to be a large amount to presume drug charges alleging an intent to sell. A seasoned criminal defense attorney familiar with New Hampshire law and with the county prosecutor's procedures will often succeed in obtaining a dismissal of the intent to sell charge in return for a plea to possession. Other bargaining advantages depend on the totality of the circumstances.

Source: unionleader.com, "Laconia man charged with drugs, recklessness after fleeing traffic stop", Pat Grossmith, Dec. 7, 2016

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