Getting stopped by police officers for alleged traffic violations usually results in minor irritation for the driver. However, at times, a more serious outcome results and a driver or passenger may find him or herself facing charges related to alleged drug crimes. Recently, three New Jersey residents found themselves facing this situation.
According to police, the driver of a vehicle was stopped for what was listed as an equipment offense, though the nature of the stop was not disclosed. As the officer was conducting the traffic stop, a canine reportedly trained to detect illegal substances alerted officials that the vehicle contained such substances. Officers then carried out a search of the car and purportedly discovered a quantity of marijuana and other objects typically associated with said drugs.
The three men who were in the car were then arrested and charged with several offenses related to drug trafficking. The amount of the marijuana was reported to have exceeded 50 grams. Additionally, the traffic stop was made within 1,000 feet of an educational facility.
The men were transported for processing at a New Jersey police station and later released to await further legal proceedings against them. They have likely exercised their rights to obtain legal counsel to prepare a thorough defense against the allegations of drug crimes that they are facing. They are further entitled to review all of the supposed evidence that the state intends to present against them as well as to review the procedures the police followed when conducting the traffic stop in order to ensure that their constitutional rights were not violated before, during or after the search and subsequent arrests.
Source: nj.com, "3 charged with drug offenses after vehicle stop", Matt Gray, Feb. 23, 2017