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What you should know about being pulled over, Part 1

No one wants to be pulled over by police. This is true for a variety of reasons. While a traffic ticket is certainly not desirable, if the stops leads to more serious criminal charges--such as drunk driving or drug possession or trafficking--the penalties can be even harsher. Accordingly, it is generally a good idea to take steps to avoid being pulled over.

The interim director of policing and public safety for the Canadian Civil Liberties Association, indicates there are multiple reasons why someone behind the wheel of a car might be pulled over. A police officer can do so in the following situations:

  • If they suspect the person driving has committed a driving offence
  • To make sure the driver has insurance
  • To determining whether the driver's licence is valid
  • To check of the vehicle is mechanically fit
  • To see if the driver has consumed alcohol or drugs

Depending on what the law enforcement officer finds in the course of the stop, the driver or other occupants could find that they are taken into custody and charged with a crime. For example, a driver may face impaired driving charges. In these situations a driver could be accused of driving under the influence of alcohol, legal prescription drugs or illegal drugs.

Even if the driver is not under the influence of a prescription or illegal drug, if such drugs are discovered in the vehicle, depending on the particular circumstances, including the amount of the drugs found, anyone who is in the car could face possession or trafficking of drugs charges. This could occur if the following drugs are found:

  • Marijuana
  • Ecstasy
  • Cocaine
  • Heroin
  • Methamphetamine
  • OxyContin and Pain killers
  • Illegal prescription drugs

Drug charges that arise from a traffic stop should be taken seriously and call for the assistance of a criminal defence lawyer.

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