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Traffic stops, no matter how simple the offense, could lead to additional charges. If authorities suspect that something else might be going on with a driver or the vehicle occupants, officers will conduct further investigation to establish probable cause to collect evidence. However, if these steps do not fall within normal protocols, this could tarnish the reliability of the collected evidence. This is true even if authorities uncover drugs in the vehicle, resulting drug charges.

According to reports authorities in Virginia arrested three men from Mississippi following a traffic stop. The vehicle with Texas plates was traveling northbound on Interstate 81 when a Virginia State Police trooper supposedly clocked the vehicle going 93 mph in a 70 mph zone.

Officers pulled the vehicle over and initiated a traffic stop. Two additional officers arrived at the scene to help with the stop that led to the search of the vehicle. This search resulted in the discovery of a large plastic bag. Allegedly, police found several smaller bags inside this bag. According to reports, 10 small bags containing pills were discovered. Authorities believe that these pills are ecstasy; however, they are being sent to a forensic lab for further testing and confirmation.

The driver and both occupants were charged with drug possession with the intent to distribute, which is based on the packaging, quality and estimated value of the drug seized from the vehicle. Authorities believe that the supposed drugs seized and worth around $15,000. In addition to facing drug charges, the driver was also charged with reckless driving and driving without a valid driver's license.

Facing drug charges can be a very serious offense, especially if you are accused of possession with the intent to sell. However, no matter what type of drug charge an individual is facing, he or she has the right and ability to assert a defense. This could include challenging how evidence was collected. If evidence was not legally obtained, this could help a defendant suppress evidence, which in turn could result in the reduction or dismissal of some or all of the criminal charges faced.

Source: The Northern Virginia Daily, "Three Mississippi men arrested on drug charges," Briahnna Brown, Oct. 18, 2017

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