Cars and trucks are commonly used to take people from place to place. However, they can sometimes be used for criminal activity. Therefore, police will look for all sorts of criminal activity even after pulling someone over for a simple traffic infraction. In particular, traffic stops can lead to drug crime charges for New York residents.
Recently, police officers in Buffalo arrested and charged five people with drug charges following traffic stops. In these stops, police officers claimed to have found different types of drugs including marijuana, LSD, heroin, Oxycodone and other illegal drugs. Police claim to have stopped these people after various driving infractions including speeding, driving the wrong way down a street and not wearing a seatbelt. Those arrested ranged in age from 21 to 49. Each of the individuals is facing different drug charges including criminal possession of a controlled substance, unlawful possession of marijuana and others.
When police stop a person in their vehicle, police must abide by certain rules. New York police officers cannot automatically search a car for other illegal activity just because someone has had a traffic violation. Police officers must have probable cause to make additional searches. Without this probable cause things found in an illegal search of a car – including drugs – cannot be used in court against a person.
Those accused of drug charges following a traffic stop should ensure that all their rights were upheld during and after the traffic stop. By challenging an officer’s behavior, people may see reduced charges or penalties. With the right help this criminal defense strategy, or others, can be used to help people return to normal life.
Source: WIVB, “Troopers make drug arrests in Buffalo,” Emily Lenihan, March 10, 2014