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Man facing drug trafficking charges following traffic stop

South Carolina authorities took a man into custody after conducting a routine traffic stop in Summerville on May 22. The man was reportedly driving a 2000 Dodge Neon when he was pulled over for what was called an "equipment violation."

When the sheriff's deputies went to talk to the man, they reported that the smell of marijuana was coming from the vehicle. As a result, the deputies conducted a search of the car. Although they did not find any marijuana, they did find 398 doses of of a drug on four colorful sheets. When a field test was conducted on the drugs, they were determined to be LSD. The amount of the drug found had a street value that ranged between $2,000 and $8,000.

The accused man was ultimately charged with drug trafficking. He was being held at the Hill-Finklea Detention Center in Berkeley County until his bond hearing.

During a traffic stop, authorities may have the ability to conduct a search of a vehicle without permission if there is probable cause. In order to obtain probable cause, there must be reasonable grounds to be suspicious that a person has illegal substances in the vehicle. However, if the authorities do not have probable cause and they search a vehicle without the owner's permission, any evidence that they do find could be determined to be inadmissible in court. A criminal law attorney may review such a case and challenge the evidence by arguing that the authorities did not have probable cause. Otherwise, legal counsel could argue that any drugs that were found did not belong to the alleged offender.

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 York County Bar Association South Caroline Bar NACDL South carolina association of criminal defense lawyers United states court of appeals | For the Fourth Circuit
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