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Criminal law: Missouri traffic stop leads to drug charges

As most people in Missouri are aware, the federal Constitution provides them with certain protections, including protection from unreasonable searches. However, if a police officer claims that he or she smells marijuana in a vehicle, that could prompt the officer to initiate a search -- solely based on the officer's alleged sense of smell -- potentially creating criminal law issues for someone. One man who was traveling through the state was recently arrested on drug charges following a traffic stop.

The incident that led to the man's arrest happened in December. According to police reports, an officer reportedly noticed a car that swerved over the center line. During the traffic stop that followed, the policer officer claimed that there was a smell of marijuana coming from inside the car.

The officer claims that the driver agreed to the search of a car. The search reportedly revealed a vacuum sealed package of marijuana in a duffel bag in a trunk. The package allegedly weighed 10 pounds. Police claim that a passenger in the vehicle admitted that he purchased the drug while in Colorado. He has since been arrested on multiple charges, including unlawful use of drug paraphernalia and felony drug distribution.

Those in Missouri and other states who face criminal charges likely want to ensure that they were treated lawfully during the events leading up to their arrest as well as the events that follow. A defense attorney with experience with criminal law can help make this determination. If a violation of a person's rights is suspected, such a professional can take appropriate action the address the violation. Having someone with experience with such cases can help ensure that a defendant has adequate knowledge to make informed decisions about his or her case.

Source: abc17news.com, "Florida man charged with drug distribution in mid-Missouri", Zachary Farwell, Dec. 13, 2016

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Criminal law: Missouri traffic stop leads to drug charges | The Law Office of Gregory N. Smith