People in South Carolina who have been arrested may well know that their ultimate arrests might have little or nothing to do with the original reason that law enforcement officers initially approached them. Even though that can happen it is also important for people to know that their rights should always be protected and any investigation or search process should respect those rights and follow the laws associated with those.
Reports indicate that last autumn, police are said to have personally witnessed two men allegedly smoking pot while in a vehicle in Columbia, South Carolina. Due to what they believed they saw, the police stopped the vehicle and pulled the men over. During the stop process, the officers found both a firearm and multiple pills containing a methamphetamine mix. Details of how the officers came to search the entire vehicle are not known.
After discovering the gun and the drugs, the two men were charged with different crimes. Since then, both have pled guilty and even been sentenced. It is not known if their guilty pleas were part of a plea bargain or not. One of the defendants has been sentenced to eight years in prison and he was actually out on parole for prior offenses at the time. The second defendant faces 115 months in prison.
Columbia defendants who have been arrested and charged with crimes even after stopped for other reasons at first might find talking to an attorney important to helping them understand how to protect their rights.
Source: The State, “Columbia men were caught smoking weed but it’s not why they got long prison sentences,” Noah Feit, March 13, 2018