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TODD K. MOHINK, PA Glen Burnie & Columbia Family & Criminal Lawyer

Vehicle search leads to drug charges for passenger

Police officers conduct routine traffic stops pretty often, but sometimes, these stops can lead to a search of the person’s vehicle. If a search was conducted and a person was arrested, that person will likely want to make sure that all proper search procedures were followed. A woman was recently arrested on drug charges in Maryland after the vehicle she was riding in was pulled over for a traffic stop and subsequently searched.

A sergeant for the St. Mary’s County Sheriff’s Office pulled over a Ford Explorer for allegedly not having the registration displayed. In order for a search of a vehicle to be warranted, the police officer must have probable cause. It is unclear what led him to conduct the search, but the sergeant called for a K9 unit to sniff the outside of the Explorer in search of drugs.

The K9 unit supposedly alerted the sergeant to the passenger side of the SUV, which is where the woman had been sitting. The sergeant searched the woman’s purse and purportedly found drug paraphernalia. The sergeant also allegedly found what he suspected was marijuana on her person. She was arrested and charged with two drug charges.

When a search is conducted, it is crucial to make sure that the correct procedures were followed. If the proper steps were not taken in the search or if there was not enough probable cause to begin the search, then it may taint the case. In this event, the drug charges that the Maryland woman faces might be reduced or even dismissed.

Source:, “Traffic Stop in Lexington Park Leads to Arrest”, , April 22, 2014

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