Many Louisiana residents know that if an individual is caught in possession of a controlled substance, criminal charges are likely to follow. What Louisiana residents may not know, however, is that a single incident of possessing a controlled substance may lead to multiple drug charges. Everyday there are cases cited all over the country in which a routine traffic stop results in just such a predicament. And that appears to be the case for a University of Louisiana student who is now facing multiple drug charges after a traffic stop.
The 20-year-old student complied with a routine traffic stop on Oct. 24. Officers claim to have stopped him for having darkly tinted windows and a missing tail light. As they approached the young man's vehicle, police claim they smelled marijuana.
The police searched the vehicle and allegedly discovered a silver container said to be used for grinding marijuana, Viagra medication and a plastic bag containing six pills, the type of which was unspecified. The student disclosed that he had taken the Viagra from his grandfather without his knowledge or consent. A small plastic bottle containing what the police claimed was marijuana residue was also procured from the vehicle, with the suspect disclosing that he used the bottle to hold marijuana.
The young man now faces charges of having windows tinted too darkly, not having a tail light, as well as possession of drug paraphernalia and drug possession. He is facing separate bonds on all of his charges with bonds totaling $1800. For those in Louisiana in a similar situation, the case brings up several points. First, individuals need to know their rights. Everyone accused of drug crimes in Louisiana has the right to remain silent and the right to a skilled attorney. Also, just because someone is charged with drug crimes doesn't mean that person is guilty. Everyone is innocent until proven otherwise in a court of law. Police officers do make mistakes, and in many cases across the country, those mistakes result in reduced or even dismissed charges. Though the details of this young man's case remain to be seen, if there are mistakes in the vehicle search process or the manner in which the suspect was arrested, he may well see his charges reduced with the help of experienced legal representation.
Source: thenewsstar.com, "Window tint bad, tail light leads to drug charges," Oct. 24, 2011