Drug possession is a serious crime in the state of Virginia that could lead to years of jail time. Two Virginia Beach men were recently charged with drug crimes after a seemingly ordinary traffic stop in North Carolina.
Police pulled over the men’s vehicle for speeding, but the driver did not have a valid license. Shortly thereafter, an officer spotted a bag allegedly containing crack cocaine inside the car. Both the driver and his passenger were arrested. Police searched the vehicle and found an additional two bags of crack and a bag of heroin.
The two men were charged with felony possession of heroin and felony possession of cocaine. One of the men was released on $20,000 secured bond, while the other is still being held in lieu of $20,000 secured bond.
Police do not necessarily need a warrant to search your vehicle. Under the Fourth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution, police are permitted to conduct reasonable searches and seizures. In order for a search to be considered reasonable, you must have given consent or the officer must have had probable cause to conduct the search. This means that it was probable that they would find evidence of a crime by searching. Typically, a routine traffic stop does not give an officer the right to search your vehicle. However, if something happens while you are stopped that warrants an arrest, a search of your vehicle may be allowed.
Police officers are not permitted to search your vehicle for no reason and are required to follow strict rules when it comes to automobile searches. Evidence found in an illegal search may get thrown out and lead to the dismissal or lessening of the charges against you.
Source: News Channel 3, “Two charged with possession of cocaine, heroin after being stopped for speeding in Dare County,” Matt Knight, Jan. 22, 2016