When you are pulled over for a traffic violation, there might be circumstances present that lead the police to believe other crimes are being committed. For example, if an officer sees an open container of alcohol, it is possible that you will be asked to exit the car and take part in a field sobriety test. Another instance that could lead to an investigation or search for other possible crimes is if the police detect an odor of marijuana or suspect you are transporting illegal substances. Given the penalties that accompany criminal convictions, it is crucial that you present an aggressive defense to maintain your driving privileges and good criminal record.
One of the ways charges besides traffic tickets occur when you are pulled over is from a search of your vehicle. Evidence of a crime, found during a search, might be used against you. In order to prevent a simple traffic stop from escalating into more serious charges, the legality of the search must be determined:
● Probable cause for the search must exist, and when presented to the Court there must be evidence supporting the officer’s version of events that establish the “probable cause”.
● If an illegal item such as drugs or drug paraphernalia are in plain sight, the officer may be able to establish probable cause for the search.
If you were stopped for a traffic offense and other charges were filed against you as a result of a vehicle search, you must consult with a skilled criminal defense attorney immediately. A thorough investigation of the facts will reveal whether the search was legal. If it was not, any evidence seized during the search must be thrown out and not used in the case. Without sufficient evidence, it is difficult for the prosecution to meet their burden of proof against you.
If you’ve been charged with a crime, call an experienced criminal defense attorney for help. Skilled criminal defense attorneys in Stuart and the Treasure Coast are here to help you reach workable solutions. Your first visit is a free initial consultation.