When someone is pulled over in Baltimore or the surrounding area for a traffic violation, the police need additional suspicions or reasons before they can give a chemical breath test or search a car. As we said in an earlier post, due process must be followed.
It was recently reported that a man was pulled over for an equipment violation. This is typically a taillight, but it could also have been a missing mirror on the left, missing fuel cap, tape on tail lamps, tinted front windows or expired registration. Whatever the equipment violation, the Frederick man is now facing multiple drug charges.
The original traffic stop was in a mall parking lot after the police had followed the man from Frederick for several miles. The man said he was not feeling well and had thrown up in his car. The police claim they saw “indicators of criminal activity,” and called for a police dog and handler to come to the scene.
The dog indicated drugs and so the car and trunk was searched. Police allege they found oxycodone in a bag over the visor of the car, plus 14 grams of crack cocaine and several bags of heroin in the trunk.
The man was not arrested at that time due to his illness. He was criminally charged five days later with drug possession and possession with intent to distribute. He is being held in jail in lieu of $250,000 bail. Interestingly, he was not reported as being charged with drunk driving.
In this particular case, all of the subsequent charges may hinge on the “indicators of criminal activity” that the police claim they saw. If that point is disproven, then all of the evidence which follows it could be thrown out.
It is cases like this, where the rules of evidence are important, in which an experienced legal professional is critical.
Source: Frederick News Post, “Fire and police blotter – Frederick man faces drug charges,” Oct. 24, 2012
At our Baltimore law firm we represent individuals who have been charged with drunk driving or drug charges similar to the charges mentioned in this posting.
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