Apr 4

Commonwealth v. R.J.

Commonwealth v. R.J.

Philadelphia police officers on routine patrol observed a car disregard a stop sign, so they initiated a traffic stop. R.J. was in the back seat of the car that was being driven by a female friend. The front seazt passenger was another female. During the traffic stop, officers claimed they smelled marijuana, so all occupants were ordered out of the car while a search was conducted. During the search, police recovered a firearm that was in a pouch behind the driver’s seat that was within arm’s reach of R.J. The driver was interviewed by detectives and she stated that the car was hers and that there was no gun in the pouch before she picked R.J. up. At the preliminary hearing, the defense argued that there was insufficient evidence to have the case proceed to trial, and a Philadelphia Municipal Court agreed, dismissing the case. R.J., who had been in in jail on $300,000 bail was released the same day.

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