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We previously posted about police using traffic violations to trigger vehicle searches leading to evidence of felony drug charges. Police in New York recently employed similar tactics to arrest a man on multiple felony charges including weapons possession and impersonating a federal law enforcement officer.

Although police were quick to say they did not perceive the man to be a danger to the public, at least one law enforcement official noted that the man’s use of a fake badge and identification along with a vehicle equipped to resemble an unmarked police vehicle were among the things police would be focusing on in their investigation. According to police, the suspect had numerous firearms, a massive amount of ammunition and body armor in his possession or at his home that police seized following his arrest.

Criminal defense attorneys know that even cases, such as this one, where a massive amount of evidence would appear to weigh heavily in favor of the prosecution and against the accused are mere allegations until guilt is proven after a criminal trial. The typical defense strategy focuses on forcing the prosecution to prove every element of each criminal charge by challenging the evidence and the manner in which it was obtained.

Sometimes, a defense strategy that focuses attention on weaknesses in the prosecution case against the accused might not avoid a criminal conviction. Creating reasonable doubt may cause a prosecutor to agree to a plea negotiation in which a charge is reduced from a felony to a misdemeanor, or it might cause prosecutors to offer penalties at sentencing that are less severe than those the accused had been facing.

Avoiding the long-term consequences of a criminal conviction might be accomplished without going to trial. A consultation with a criminal defense attorney might provide a person accused of a criminal charge with defense alternatives including a plea negotiation and reduced charges or penalties.

Source: Daily News, “Police find 8,300 rounds of ammo, assault rifle and body armor in home of Long Island man who impersonated Air Marshal,” Laura Bult and Thomas Tracy, Dec. 4, 2015

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