Almost every driver gets a little nervous when a police cruiser pulls behind them. It seems as if they are waiting for any minor slipup to pull a driver over. Sometimes their motives are to police traffic violations, but other times they are seeking to find a bigger arrest. When officers feel this way and make a traffic stop, they often try to find a way, sometimes an illegal way, to search the individual's car.
One Philadelphia man is now facing Drug Charges after heroin was allegedly found in his vehicle. The accused individual was pulled over for a minor traffic violation then asked by police if they could search his car. After denying consent, police called in a drug-sniffing dog to run around the vehicle. Police claim the dog's behavior led them to obtain a warrant necessary to search the car. The subsequent search allegedly led to the discovery of 700 individual bags of heroin.
The accused individual in this case is facing serious consequences if he is convicted of drug offenses. For state drug possession convictions, the man in this case may face a minimum sentence of five years in prison if 50 grams or more of heroin were involved. The state may also impose a fine of $25,000. If the arrest leads to drug trafficking charges, then the accused individual may face federal charges. Depending on the amount of heroin involved, a drug trafficking conviction may land a convicted individual in prison anywhere between five years and life.
With such serious penalties at stake, individuals facing drug possession or drug trafficking charges may wish to seek out a competent defense team. A defense attorney can help challenge the legality of the stop with a focus on getting evidence suppressed. The attorney will work vigorously to get an acquittal, but if it is not possible, then negotiations with the prosecutor may reduce charges. Either way, it is best for an individual who is accused of drug offenses to consult with a defense attorney and learn his legal rights and options.
Source: WNEP News 16, "Man Faces Drug Charges After Traffic Stop," Mike Vojtko, Aug. 29, 2013