It can be surprising how much a person’s life can change due to a minor traffic stop. Not from any traffic violation itself, but what can stem from it. For example, two men from Tennessee were recently pulled over by police simply for traffic violations, but ended up being charged with the drug crimes of possession of marijuana with intent to distribute, as well as drug trafficking in cocaine.

When the men were pulled over, the deputy claimed he smelled a strong odor of marijuana coming from inside the vehicle. After a subsequent search of the car police allegedly found over a pound of processed marijuana inside of bag. After the policed arrested the men and seized the vehicle they claim they later found over an ounce of cocaine while conducting an inventory.

In drug cases, it is important that a defendant’s rights against unreasonable searches and seizures are protected. Police must obtain a lawful search warrant in order to search and seize any drugs or paraphernalia that are not within plain view or in an area where the defendant would have a reasonable expectation of privacy. Police must also inform defendants of their right to counsel before they attempt to elicit any confessions.

Defendants who are accused of drug possession or drug trafficking are entitled to a strong criminal defense. They have the legal right to question witnesses in order to challenge the admissibility of evidence. Defendants also have the right to challenge the constitutionality of the search and seizure of evidence performed by the police, as well as the admissibility of confession they may have made. These protected rights can help save a person from a felony conviction which can have serious consequences on a person’s life.

Source: Calhoun Times, “Two Johnson City, Tennessee Men Arrested For Drug Trafficking,” May 8, 2013