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North Carolina woman charged with drug trafficking

Being caught in possession of even a small amount of drugs can have very serious consequences in North Carolina. Authorities are determined to crack down on drug use in the state, and they are aggressive in charging those who they suspect may be in possession of unlawful narcotics. In their pursuit of these charges, though, police may trample over the person's rights without giving it a second thought.

Because the effects of a drug conviction can be devastating, it is important that a person who has been charged with drug possession or trafficking to defend themselves against any unlawful charges. This may include illegal searches, false accusations and even police mistakes. Challenging the legitimacy of an arrest is important for those who made a misstep and don't want that to affect the rest of their lives.

Often, a charge for drug possession or trafficking is issued during an otherwise routine traffic stop. However, during some traffic stops, a police officer may try to get a driver's permission to access areas of the car that would typically require a search warrant or further suspicion, hoping that the person does not question this violation.

An officer may also have a drug-sniffing dog present that has been trained to "alert" the officer if it smells any drugs. However, the legitimacy and accuracy of these "alerts" has been called into question many times, and the process is certainly not perfect.

These scenarios both recently took place when a woman was pulled over for speeding. It is unclear why, but the woman gave her written consent for the officer to search her entire car instead of requesting a warrant. The officer then brought over a police drug dog who alerted to the woman's glove compartment. A search of the compartment turned up a small amount of heroin. She is now facing drug trafficking charges in addition to her traffic violations.

In this and similar situations, it is important for a person facing drug charges to consult an attorney. It is possible that police made a procedural error or illegally executed a search which, if discovered, can result in the dismissal of charges.

Source: WISTV, "Traffic stop leads to drug trafficking bust," Charles Gazaway, Aug. 30, 2012

• Our firm works with people who were involved in similar situations to the one described in this post. For more information, please visit our Clinton Drug Possession page.

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