Many times authorities will pull over a vehicle for a traffic violation, but upon inspection will find purported evidence of more serious crimes. This is one of the most common ways authorities are able to obtain evidence for charging someone with a drug-related crime. Recently, this is what happened to two individuals from out-of-state who were traveling through Ohio. The police originally pulled them over for speeding violations, but ended up accusing them of drug charges.
The suspects were traveling on Interstate 77 when the Highway Patrol pulled them over for an alleged speeding violation one evening in late December. When the authorities approached the vehicle, they claimed they smelled burnt marijuana. Officials with the county Sheriff’s Office aided in searching the vehicle based upon the probable cause principle. The authorities allege that they found various types of drugs, drug paraphernalia and items they believe were used for drug trafficking.
The two suspects, a 25-year-old man and a 21-year-old woman, were both charged with third-degree felonies, fifth-degree felonies and misdemeanors. The defendants were charged with possession of oxycodene, methamphetamine and marijuana. They were also charged with drug trafficking. If they are found guilty they could be sentenced to up to 11 years behind bars, along with a potential fine up to the amount of $22,500.
Due to the seriousness of these drug charges, the two defendants will need to carefully plan their defense strategy. There could be various holes in the prosecution’s case against them, since the burden of proof rests with the government. However, in order to pinpoint the weaknesses in the prosecution’s case, it will require some knowledge of applicable criminal law in Ohio. This may enable the defendants to formulate a strong legal argument as to why they should not be convicted of the alleged crimes.
Source: Parkersburg News and Sentinel, “Two arrested on drug charges – NewsandSentinel.com,” Dec. 26, 2012