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Driving a car without lights illuminating the rear license plate should only result in a traffic violation if a police officer pulls you over. A New York man discovered that a routine traffic stop can lead to bigger problems than just a traffic ticket.

The broken license plate lights drew the attention of a police officer who stopped the upstate motorist. Even then, the driver might still have gotten away with nothing more than a ticket were it not for the five suspensions that a police check of his license revealed.

The outstanding suspensions, coupled with the fact that the motorist was now driving with a suspended license, resulted in a search of the vehicle by the police officer. This ended with the search and seizure of four bags of heroin and a hypodermic needle that were discovered in the vehicle.

Police charged the man with drug possession, possession of the needle, multiple traffic violations and unlicensed operation. All of the motorist’s troubles began over a faulty license plate light.

It is not unusual for a routine traffic stop to lead to an arrest on drug charges. Police suspecting that a driver is engaged in illegal activities might use the opportunity of a minor traffic violation to ask for permission to search a vehicle. Motorists consenting to such a request risk an arrest for drug offenses if the search uncovers prescription drugs not prescribed to the motorist.

If a traffic stop leads to a search and seizure and drug charges, a driver should speak to a criminal defense attorney as soon after the incident as possible. An attorney is a person’s best source of legal advice and guidance when facing drug offenses.

Source: WGEZ, “Heroin found during Springville traffic stop,” June 2, 2015

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