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Drug charges levied against men after routine traffic stop

There is no shortage of examples in the media of arrests for drug crimes. In some cases, a person is arrested because they are seen by police allegedly dealing drugs. Sometimes they are arrested because they had been watched during a police investigation and now face drug possession charges. In other cases, people have been arrested because of tips or undercover investigations.

Because of television and movies, there are a lot of people across the nation, including many here in California, who think that these are the only situations that can lead to drug charges. Unfortunately, arrests for drug crimes can happen in many other types of situations, even during routine traffic stops. And sometimes a nervous disposition is all an officer needs to justify a search of your vehicle.

Take for example a case out of Florida where two men were pulled over for failing to wear their seatbelts. According to police, the men seemed nervous during the traffic stop, which prompted an officer to call in a K-9 unit. When the drug-sniffing dog arrived it is said to have alerted police to the presence of drugs. Police then searched the men and the vehicle, allegedly finding drugs, a firearm and more than $7,000 in cash. This ultimately led to one man being charged with possession of cocaine and the other with possession of marijuana.

Though the traffic stop and arrests did not happen here in California, by using this case out of Florida as an example, we can point out how a person can be arrested on drug charges even though they were pulled over for very different reasons.

We did want to point out something important though. During traffic stops, police do still have to abide by the law and must make sure that their desire to crack down on crime does not violate someone’s constitutional rights in the process. If this happens, and it is pointed out by a good defense lawyer, then it’s possible that those charges could be dismissed later on.

Source: First Coast News, “Seat belt violation leads to unusual drug bust,” June 16, 2014

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