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Drug charges and child endangerment filed against man

New Hampshire authorities continue to arrest and incarcerate drug suspects for drug possession violations without viewing the matter as a medical addiction needing rehabilitation and drug treatment services. Pelham police and Hillsborough County Sheriff's Deputies arrested a 35-year-old man recently on drug charges and removed his 3-year-old child from the home. Authorities also charged the man with endangering the welfare of a child, in addition to possession of heroin, marijuana and prescription pills.

Police say that they made the endangerment charges because they found child living among the drugs in the man's apartment. They did not, however, specify any details beyond mere presence in the same room or same apartment that would endanger the child.  Police forced their way into the apartment on the authority of a search warrant after the accused allegedly refused to answer the door. They say that they found the drugs, along with paraphernalia, on the floor near a television.

Criminal defense counsel will always examine the warrant and the probable cause affidavit to determine if the warrant was issued on adequate cause. A warrant cannot be obtained on hearsay or unknown reports. This is an issue that defense counsel will always examine when a warrant has been issued. In addition, the warrant must describe in some detail the specific items being sought, and pinpoint what areas of the premises that will be searched.

Counsel in this case will also want to pursue the reasons why the child was removed and why the children and youth department was called in. There are no specific charges that are known at this point that would support a New Hampshire endangering charge. The mere presence of drugs somewhere in the apartment is arguably insufficient reason to pursue an endangerment charge. Simply bringing drug charges against an accused should not support an endangerment charge. In addition, the accused is incarcerated in lieu of bail despite it being apparently clear that the alleged violations, if true, indicate a personal addiction problem that requires treatment and not imprisonment.


Source:, "Pelham man arrested for drugs, endangering 3-year-old", Breanna Edelstein, March 31, 2017

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