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Drug, weapons charges follow routine traffic stop in Florida

Just because a driver is pulled over for an alleged traffic violation does not automatically give police the right to search the vehicle or anyone inside. However, there are circumstances in which police may have probable cause to conduct a search. For example, if drugs or weapons are in plain view inside the vehicle, or if police find that there is warrant for the arrest of one of the vehicle’s occupants.

Recently in Florida, a routine traffic stop led to serious drug and weapons charges against a man and a woman. According to police, the reason for the stop was a broken tail light. However, officers claim to have smelled marijuana in the vehicle, and a search ensued.

A young woman was reportedly driving the car, and her passenger was a man who was later found to have a felony conviction on his record. Police claim to have found two loaded firearms, some marijuana, a bag of methamphetamine and 11 bags of a substance believed to be heroin. Police also said the tags on the vehicle were stolen two years ago.

Both vehicle occupants are facing a number of felony charges, and because people with felonies on their records are federally prohibiting from possessing a gun, the man is charged with possession of a firearm by a convicted felon.

Charges can quickly accumulate over the course of a traffic stop, but that doesn’t necessarily mean that police have followed proper procedure and not violated drivers’ and passengers’ rights. Regardless of your particular situation, if you have been charged with a crime after a traffic stop, then it is in your best interest to develop a criminal defense strategy.

Source: NBC-2.com, "Neighbor surprised after traffic stop uncovers loaded guns, drugs," Chris Gilmore, June 16, 2014

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