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Traffic stops can lead to felony charges

On Behalf of | Feb 8, 2021 | Criminal Law

A man from another part of Alabama now is facing felony charges after police discovered marijuana and cash in his vehicle.

The man’s encounter with State Troopers stopped the man while he was driving near a county intersection. The reason the Troopers decided to pull him over was not clear.

However, police said that during their interaction with the man, they smelled marijuana. As a result, police searched the vehicle and over $1,000 in cash and over 290 grams of marijuana.

A first degree possession of marijuana conviction can mean years in prison

Unlike some of its sister states, Alabama continues to outlaw the recreational use of marijuana. A person can face a serious criminal charge for having even a small amount of the drug for personal use.

The person in this story is charged with first degree possession of the drug. This is a felony and could well be a Class C felony given the amount of marijuana involved and the fact that police also found a significant amount of cash. A person can spend up to 10 years in prison and pay a $15,000 fine if they are convicted of this crime.

Moreover, a felony drug conviction can seriously impact a person’s professional and educational opportunities. It can have long-term negative consequences in one’s personal life as well.

Police have to follow the law when making traffic stops and searching vehicles

When facing a situation like this, Tallapoosa County residents, and visitors to the area, must remember that they have legal options available to them. In other words, it is not always advisable just to take the first plea offer a prosecutor makes.

For example, officers have to follow the laws, including the federal and state constitutions, both when making a traffic stop and when searching a person’s vehicle. Any mis-step in this respect can mean that the prosecutor cannot use critical evidence and lead to a dismissal of the case or a significant reduction in the charges.