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From speeding to serious drug charges

A man in California was arrested on serious drug charges after he stopped for a traffic violation on Aug. 26. The incident happened nearby West Grand Avenue, on Frontage Road in Oakland, around 8:30 p.m. According to a spokesperson with the California Highway Patrol, the Chevrolet Impala was pulled over for committing a speeding violation on Frontage Road. However, the officer allegedly smelled marijuana and decided to search the vehicle as well.

The search led to an arrest and the driver being booked at North County Jail by night's end. The next day, officers in Oakland executed a search warrant on the driver's home in San Pablo. During the Aug. 26 traffic stop, the CHP officer recovered 27 grams of marijuana, 100 grams of cocaine and $7,000 in cash. The street value of the cocaine was estimated to be about $6,000, and the marijuana was projected to be worth anywhere from $250 to $500.

At the driver's home, officers recovered evidence of drug sales and another $4,000 in cash. He now faces several drug charges relating to sales or possession. The accused may benefit from conferring with a criminal defense lawyer as quickly as he can. Legal counsel may be able to help get the charges dismissed or reduced by challenging the officers' probable cause for searching his vehicle or the legality of executing the warrant the next day.

Lawyers defending someone from a criminal conviction often focus on identifying and exploiting weaknesses in the prosecution's case. Legal counsel may be able to obtain an acquittal or lesser charges if a judge agrees that police or prosecutors over-stepped their legal boundaries. The same may be true if a judge feels that the defendant's rights to due process were violated. Lastly, criminal defense lawyers might also be successful in negotiating for a favorable plea bargain with the prosecution if all else fails.

Source: Contra Costa Times, "Oakland: Traffic stop yields thousands in cash, 100 grams of cocaine", Kristin J. Bende, August 27, 2014

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