What might seem like a rather routine traffic stop can quickly become something far more serious when law enforcement officers search you or your vehicle. In some cases, these searches lead to drug charges, whether relating to simple possession, possession of drug paraphernalia, or drug trafficking. Regardless of the type of drug crime you’ve been accused of, the potential consequences can be life-altering. That’s why you need to fully assess your criminal defense options and act on those that are most beneficial to your case.
Were you subject to an illegal traffic stop?
Before law enforcement can pull you over, they have to have sufficient reason to do so. This is often referred to as reasonable suspicion. This reasonable suspicion doesn’t have to go too far, though, and can include something like reasonable suspicion that you’re unlicensed or that your vehicle lacks proper registration. If police officers don’t have reason to pull you over, then doing so may violate your Constitutional right against unreasonable search and seizure.
Why does it matter?
An illegal traffic stop taints any evidence that is subsequently gathered. So, if you’re pulled over illegally and officers later find narcotics in your vehicle, then that evidence might not make it into court because you can suppress it. This is because the law recognizes a doctrine known as the fruit of the poisonous tree, which simply means that evidence gathered subsequent to illegal police activity is considered to be tainted and illegally gathered, meaning that you can suppress it and thereby prevent the prosecution from using it against you.
Build the strongest criminal defense you can under the facts
Evidence suppression is an effective criminal defense strategy, and presenting evidence of an illegal traffic stop is just one way to utilize this tactic. But evidence suppression might be just one angle in your criminal defense. You need a holistic approach that seeks to poke as many holes in the prosecution’s case as possible. If you think that you could use assistance in doing so, then you might want to think about discussing your situation with an experienced criminal defense attorney who knows how to go toe-to-toe with prosecutors.