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Missing headlight results in drug charges in Buffalo

New York police will look for evidence of drug use in many different ways. While sometimes drug charges are the result of months of criminal investigations, other times a simple traffic stop can lead to serious drug charges.

In a recent case in Buffalo, New York a traffic stop was the catalyst for charges against a 22-year-old man. In this case, the man was driving a car on I-190 South with one of its headlights out. When police tried to pull the car over, police allege that the man initially resisted and didn't stop. When he eventually stopped, police say they found heroin and marijuana in the car. According to police, the man admitted that he didn't want to stop the car because he had drugs in the car.

Following the police search, the man was charged with failure to obey a police officer, heroin possession and marijuana possession.

When people are stopped by police, and the stop results in drug crimes, people should make sure they understand all their constitutional rights. In these cases, police need to have a valid reason for stopping the car in the first place. Police cannot just stop and search cars for drugs. Furthermore, police must have probable cause to search the car. This means that police must have some evidence that an additional crime is being committed before searching.

However, while people have these rights, they should know that they should cooperate with police during a traffic stop. By failing to pull over or failing to cooperate, people could face additional criminal charges. But, people are under no obligation to admit to wrongdoing. New York residents should also know that they have the right to remain silent following an arrest. They do not need to speak to police without an attorney present. This protects them from self-incrimination, which is not required.

Source: WIVB, "Driver with headlight out facing drug charges," Russ Barbera, April 10, 2014

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