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We recently talked about probable cause when it came to a unique and problematic new law in Arkansas, which now permits the police to use a saliva test to gauge a person's blood alcohol level. One of the issues we raised in that post is probable cause. Probable cause permits a police officer to perform certain actions against a suspected criminal. However, that probable cause must be justified and substantiated. 

Two people from New York City may be asking what probable cause there was to arrest them on drug charges after a recent early morning arrest. The two people, aged 22 and 20, were pulled over for a traffic stop at about 2 in the morning. Police subsequently charged them with a bevy of drug crimes.

The 22-year-old was charged with marijuana possession with the intent to distribute and a drug paraphernalia charge; as well as possession of a "controlled or counterfeit substance" charge. The 20-year-old was charged with drug possession with intent to deliver. These are some pretty serious charges, and the source article does not make it clear how or why the police pulled these young me over in the first place.

Remember that if the police do not (or did not) have probable cause in a criminal matter, all of the evidence gathered after that can be inadmissible. The case against the accused person may subsequently be dropped; or the penalties against the accused person could be greatly reduced. Depending on the circumstances, the two young individuals in this case could argue that the police lacked probable cause.

Source: The Express-Times, "Bethlehem police charge two from New York City with drug offenses, authorities report," Tony Rhodin, Sept. 5, 2013