When authorities stop a vehicle, the driver could be subject to a search and seizure. While officers conduct the search, they might uncover items that could lead to their arrest. Furthermore, they could face criminal charges that carry harsh fines and penalties.
Local Maryland police officers arrested two men last week on various drug charges. The arrests were the result of a traffic stop shortly after midnight. According to police, they pulled the vehicle over for speeding. Once the stop was initiated, officials alleged that the driver's license was suspended and they saw open alcohol containers in the car.
As a result of these findings, police allege they investigated further and found illegal drugs in the automobile. Now the two men in the car are being charged with numerous offenses that may carry significant jail time. While the possession may not be in dispute, the men may have a criminal defense strategy based on the lawfulness of the traffic stop.
As most people know, the Fourth Amendment protects all of us against unreasonable searches and seizures by governmental actors. This protection extends to traffic stops. There are rigid requirements a police officer must have in order to stop a car, search a car or frisk a person.
As a result of these requirements, police officers often violate the Fourth Amendment's prohibition against unreasonable search and seizure. And, if they did, the person arrested as a result of the violation may have recourse.
An individual charged with a crime should challenge allegations by asserting a constitutional violation. In many instances, this argument can get charges dismissed or greatly reduced. In turn, jail time and fines diminish and the accused can go on with their life. Those facing a criminal charge should seek assistance in order to understand their options while also preserving their rights.
Source: The Baltimore Sun, "Police arrest two men on drug charges stemming from traffic stop," March 5, 2014