A man just promised the dismissal of a marijuana possession charge if he did not get into trouble for six months was arrested in a Nassau County, N.Y., courtroom when observers detected marijuana on a conditional driver's license he was surrendering to authorities.
In People v. Maharaj, District Court Judge Norman St. George ruled that, as a result of the latest arrest, the earlier arrest should be restored to the calendar.
When Maharaj appeared in court on Sept. 10, 2007, he was first granted an adjournment in contemplation of dismissal of a Nov. 6, 2006, marijuana possession charge.
Maharaj also was sentenced on an unrelated drunken-driving charge. As part of that sentence, his driving privileges were revoked and he was ordered to turn in his conditional license.
"To the astonishment of the entire courtroom," as Maharaj was surrendering the license to the court clerk, "marijuana was observed in plain view within the creases of the Defendant's conditional license," wrote Judge St. George. "The Defendant was immediately arrested in Court and charged with a new count of violating Penal Law §221.05, Criminal Possession of Marijuana as a violation."
Maharaj argued that the latest marijuana charge occurred before the commencement of the six-month ACD period. The judge disagreed, ruling that Maharaj had already obtained the adjournment prior to turning in his license, and the subsequent arrest "instantly violated" the terms of the adjournment.