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Criminal Defense From A Former Prosecutor

Routine traffic stop leads to jail for California man

A routine traffic stop that took place early in the morning on July 9 led to a trip to jail for a 30-year-old California man. The police officer who made the stop took the Los Angeles resident into custody after finding several pounds of marijuana and $116,000 in cash in the trunk of his vehicle. While the recreational use of marijuana is now legal in the Golden State, individuals can still face serious charges for cultivating and selling large quantities of the drug.

According to a press report, the man's car was pulled over on Huntington Drive in South Pasadena at approximately 1 a.m. because one of its taillights was broken. The police officer who was involved said that when he approached the vehicle, he noticed the odor of burnt marijuana. The man behind the wheel allegedly admitted to the officer that he had smoked the drug recently.

The man is said to have then told the officer that he had placed several pounds of marijuana in the trunk of his vehicle. After receiving permission to conduct a search, the officer says that he found the marijuana along with a large amount of cash. Police later obtained a warrant to search the man's home. During the residence search, police are said to have found more marijuana and several firearms.

Experienced criminal defense attorneys may try to get seized narcotics ruled as inadmissible and the charges against their clients dismissed if police obtained search warrants based on dubious probable cause or exceeded boundaries established by the issuing judge. However, lawyers cannot make these arguments when individuals suspected of committing drug crimes give officers permission to search their cars or homes without a warrant, which is why defense attorneys may advise people against consenting to a search. Lawyers could also urge suspects to not make any admissions to police officers before consulting with them.

Source: Patch, "Broken Tail Light Leads To Major Drug Bust In South Pasadena," Paige Austin, July 9, 2019

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