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Drug offenses generally carry severe penalties, which may include prison time or the suspension of the offender's driver's license. Arrests leading to a subsequent drug charge can result from a routine traffic stop.

This can be the case with a recent case in New Jersey, where police in Mount Olive report that a 19-year-old Morristown man and an 18-year-old Budd Lake woman are facing drug charges following a traffic stop that occurred on Nov. 10. A Mount Olive police officer claims to have noticed a vehicle crossing between lanes near the Village Green Mall and pulled it over in the early morning hours.

According to the police report, the officer smelled raw marijuana from outside the vehicle and conducted a search. It's unknown if the driver consented to the search. The search allegedly turned up a pipe and a small amount of marijuana. The male driver and female passenger were both arrested and taken to police headquarters.

Both occupants were charged with possession of drug paraphernalia and possession of marijuana. The driver was also charged with possession of a dangerous controlled substance. Both defendants were released on their own recognizance until their next scheduled court appearance.

Anyone who has been charged with a drug offense will need to understand the relevant legal processes, including the charges and potential penalties. Legal options in these cases often involve a plea bargain to mitigate the risks of a trial. Challenging the validity of the initial search is also a common legal strategy in such cases.

Source: New Jersey Herald, "Pair arrested on drug charges," Nov. 17, 2012

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