You’re facing drug charges or OVI charges after a traffic stop. The police claim you had drugs in the car or that you were actively under the influence while driving. These are serious allegations that are going to change your life.
One important thing to consider is that many of these charges get thrown out of court or just reduced because of mistakes made by the police. They may have violated their own procedures, not done things in the proper order or broken the law and violated your rights.
At that point, it’s not even about the alcohol or the drugs anymore. The bigger question is whether or not you were victimized in an illegal stop, meaning everything that happened after that stop may not hold up.
2 issues to consider
The first thing to consider is that the police need to have a reason to pull you over to begin with. Random stops are not legal. Police may be tempted to ignore this rule at certain times or in certain neighborhoods.
For instance, maybe you’re driving home at 2 a.m. in an area known for its nightlife. Officers may expect to find more drunk drivers at that time or in that area, but that doesn’t mean they can just pull over any cars they see and check. They still need to have a reason, such as speeding, rolling through a stop sign, driving with the lights off, etc.
The second thing to keep in mind is that, if things go further than a traffic stop, they need probable cause. A traffic violation doesn’t count. For instance, they can’t pull you over for speeding and then say that they think you have drugs in the car because you were speeding, prompting a search. They need to have some reason to take things a step further and search your car, such as smelling marijuana in the car or spotting drug paraphernalia in plain view.
Were your rights violated?
If the police violated your rights, you may be able to get evidence thrown out on the grounds that a search or even a traffic stop should never have taken place. Be sure you know exactly what legal steps to take.