Ask anyone who works as part of the criminal justice system – prosecutors, public defenders and judges alike – and they will tell you that one of the primary sources of criminal charges arises from traffic stops. A police officer may stop a citizen for something as simple as a broken taillight, but then notice something even more serious once contact is made with the driver: an odor of alcohol or marijuana; a check revealing an open warrant; or perhaps a weapon is in plain sight in the vehicle. It seems that there are many things that can go wrong during a traffic stop.
According to a recent report, one Maryland man found this out when he was pulled over by a law enforcement officer on October 15. The reports indicate that the law enforcement officer observed an “equipment violation” on the suspect’s vehicle, leading the officer to initiate a traffic stop. Once the vehicle was stopped, the officer made contact with the 35-year-old suspect from Waldorf, Maryland. In the ensuing conversation, the reports state that the police officer allegedly smelled the odor of marijuana coming from the suspect and his vehicle.
From there, the police officer conducted a search of the man’s vehicle. A .40 caliber handgun was reportedly found in the vehicle. Now, the suspect is facing weapons charges.
Even though many criminal cases begin with a traffic stop, no two scenarios are the same. In fact, in some cases it may be possible to suppress any potential evidence that was found if the defense strategy can show that there were errors in the police officer’s conduct, such as having no reason at all to initiate the traffic stop. If you have questions regarding your case, you may wish to contact an attorney.
Source: smnewsnet.com, “Waldorf Man Arrested on Gun Charges After Traffic Stop,” Oct. 20, 2017