A Philadelphia man is now facing drug charges in relation to a traffic stop in Abington. Drug charges can have a devastating effect on an individual's life, family, educational prospects and career prospects.
The man was stopped while driving in Abington, Pennsylvania, allegedly because his car had tinted windows and an unsecured exhaust pipe. The police claim that they found a small amount of marijuana in the back of the vehicle and that a further search of the interior of the vehicle revealed a brown paper bag which contained six black Ziploc bags with marijuana and another plastic bag filled with smaller green colored bags. A subsequent search of the trunk of the vehicle is alleged to have led to the discovery of a backpack containing crack cocaine.
The real question here is why the man was searched so extensively. In order to justify a search of the interior of the vehicle, the closed trunk and the closed backpack within the trunk, the police need to have reasonable suspicion and probable cause. It is not clear from the facts as they are presented whether the man consented to a search, whether the marijuana in the back of the car was in 'plain view' or whether he was subjected to a search against his will. In any case, the man is facing several felony drug charges that may lead to extremely serious consequences as a result of this traffic stop.
Felony drug charges can lead to lengthy prison sentences if defendants are convicted. Many people do not fully understand their rights and may end up suffering the consequences because of that. Philadelphians who are facing drug charges should know that they have rights especially when it comes to police searches. If a search is conducted illegally, any evidence obtained could be inadmissible in court.
Source: Abington Patch, "Philly Man Arrested on Felony Drug Charges in Abington," March 29, 2013