A 57-year-old man was arrested and also picked up a felony drug charge after police claimed they pulled him over while traveling at 95 mph on Interstate 295 in the Hopewell, Virginia area. The drug charge, however, was only a portion of the man's legal woes. He was also charged with three counts of child endangerment.
The charges stem from a traffic stop during the spring of last year. During the traffic stop, the officer noticed that six children were also in the van along with a fellow adult. The children, who were the driver's grandchildren, ranged in age from 4 to 15.
The Hopewell prosecutor pointed out that none of the children were restrained with seat belts and that two of the young children should have been riding in booster seats per state law. The man's alleged carelessness with the young children garnered the child endangerment charges.
Police then arrested the man and transported him to the county jail. When the man got out of the patrol car, officers said they found bags that contained a powered substance. More bags were found when they lifted up the back seat.
The man admitted that the substance was heroin and that he had used some of the drug roughly six hours before he was caught by police for speeding.
As a result of the investigation, the man pleaded guilty to both the drug charge and the charges of child endangerment. He also picked up charges for minor traffic offenses. The man is to be sentenced in May; however, media reports state that he will likely face a maximum of a year behind bars.
In this case, the man chose to plead guilty. Often, defendants will do this if an overwhelming amount of incriminating evidence weighs against them, striking down their chances of success in a jury trial. Defendants can usually strike a plea deal with authorities to receive a lesser sentence; however, it is best to consult with an experienced criminal defense attorney before doing so.
Source: TimesDispatch.com, "Man pleads guilty in Hopewell for driving 95MPH on Heroin with six kids," Mark Bowes, March 28, 2013