When an individual is pulled over, they could face a traffic violation. In some cases, a police office may find reason to search a vehicle, which could lead to additional charges that could be criminal.
Recently, a traffic stop in Dunwoody resulted in an arrest for drug charges. An SUV was stopped for a broken brake light. The suspect was a passenger in the backseat who fled from the scene on foot. After the suspect was apprehended and searched the following items were found on his person: multiple small jewelry bags, cocaine and over $2,000 in cash. He was charged with intent to distribute cocaine and obstruction.
The state of Georgia classifies drug possession in schedules. Each schedule varies in severity. Schedule I drugs are highly addictive with no legitimate medical use like ecstasy. Schedule II drugs are also highly addictive. Cocaine falls within this category. Schedule III drugs include steroids. Schedule IV, V and VI are prescribed by physicians. When these drugs are taken outside of a doctor's supervision they are deemed illegal.
In the state of Georgia marijuana possession is classified as a misdemeanor if less than one ounce is found. The penalty is a fine of up to $1,000 and 1 year in jail. If more than one ounce is found it is classified as a felony. Cocaine and other schedule II drugs are classified as felonies. The penalty ranges from 2 to 30 years in prison.
In some cases, traffic stops like the one mentioned above may or may not be conducted legally. The penalties for defendant's found with drugs are serious. Experienced criminal defense matters when a defendant's freedom is at stake. Obtaining advice about legal defense options could help ensure that the accused's rights are protected and their best interests are served in their defense strategy.
Source: Dunwoody Patch, "Decatur Man Faces Drug Charges After Dunwoody Traffic Stop," Deb Belt, January 9, 2015