Some police officers depend on citizens' lack of understanding of their civil rights during traffic stops. For example, in most states, including Tennessee, police cannot search a vehicle without a search warrant unless the driver grants permission. Many people, especially young drivers, may feel they have to obey an officer's request. Once police find something incriminating in a car, that driver may face serious consequences, such as drug charges.
One 19-year-old woman is now in jail after police searched her car during a routine traffic stop. Police claim they smelled marijuana when they approached the woman's vehicle. Supposedly, the woman granted permission for the police to search the vehicle where they found 48 ounces of liquid codeine, 20 grams of cocaine, 3 grams of THC wax, 113.5 grams of marijuana and 64 Xanax pills. Deputies also allegedly found grinders, scales, baggies, various drug paraphernalia and over $1,700 in cash.
Police charged the driver with numerous felony counts of possession for resale, including a schedule 2 substance, a conviction of which carries a significant prison sentence. She also faces charges of possessing drug paraphernalia and several traffic offenses. She is in jail on a $41,000 bond.
Tennessee residents in similar situations can turn to a criminal defense attorney for assistance. An attorney will likely examine the evidence that led to the filing of drug charges, beginning with the traffic stop and search of the vehicle. If it is determined that police violated the rights of the accused, the evidence collected from that point forward could be ruled inadmissible in any criminal proceedings.
Source: wjhl.com, "Woman, 19, faces multiple drug dealing charges after traffic stop in Johnson City", June 7, 2017