In a recent drug case before a Virginia court of appeals, the Commonwealth appealed a lower court’s ruling in the defendant’s favor. Originally, the defendant in this case was charged with illegal drug possession. He successfully argued that his incriminating statements he made to police officers should be suppressed at trial, but the Commonwealth challenged this lower court’s ruling. The higher court ended up agreeing with the Commonwealth and reversing the original ruling.
Facts of the Case
According to the opinion, two officers were on patrol one evening when they pulled the defendant over in a standard traffic stop. The defendant told the officers they were free to search the car, and the officers found a bag of white powder on one of the vehicle’s floorboards.
One of the officers began to conduct an arrest. When asked what was in the bag, the defendant readily admitted that it was “probably cocaine.” He also freely stated that he had a tool for smoking weed in his pocket. The officers put the defendant in their patrol car, gave him the required Miranda warnings, and asked again what was in the bag. The defendant admitted for a second time that the substance was cocaine.