A Texas man is now facing drug charges after a bag of meth held together with duct tape was found in his car door by police during a traffic stop. The 45-year-old man was driving on I-35 in Waco on Oct. 9 when he was pulled over. McLennan County Sheriff’s deputies said that the man was following another car too closely in traffic at 5:55 p.m.
However, police said that when they stopped the man’s car, he was behaving in an anxious, suspicious manner. They claimed that they saw methamphetamine in the cup holder of his car and demanded to search the vehicle. Authorities then found a bag covered in black duct tape in the door on the driver’s side. Inside, police allegedly found 20.5 grams of meth. The driver was arrested and charged with drug crimes, including possession of a controlled substance of over 4 grams and less than 200 grams, a second-degree felony charge. Police also said that they planned to be more active on the highways in seeking out drug violations.
In many cases, a traffic stop is not just a traffic stop. While police only need reasonable suspicion to stop a vehicle, searching the car requires probable cause. In many cases, drivers consent to a police search, sometimes under pressure. In other cases, however, police claim to see drugs, smell the odor of marijuana or receive a dog alert in order to justify a search of the vehicle.
Drug charges can lead to jail time, large fines and a felony criminal record that undermines future chances for housing, education or employment. To help a defendant, a criminal defense attorney can challenge police practices and evidence, including searches of a stopped vehicle.