A 30-year-old man was pulled over by Massachusetts State Police on Dec. 2 and charged with two drug offenses. The incident took place in Leominster at about 6:35 p.m. when a trooper allegedly witnessed the accused man commit traffic violations while driving a green Audi A4. After the trooper pulled the man over on the side of West Street, the man’s car was searched.

According to police, the passenger compartment in the man’s vehicle was found to contain drugs, drug paraphernalia and cash. The driver was taken into police custody and handed charges on drug possession, heroin distribution and failure to wear a seat belt. The man’s arraignment was scheduled to take place in Leominster District Court on Dec. 5.

A police officer must have reasonable suspicion to conduct a traffic stop. While this is less stringent than probable cause, there must be some indication that some sort of law has been broken. This can be as little as a broken tail light or an expired tag on a license plate. Once the stop is made, there must be either probable cause to conduct a search of the vehicle or the furnishing of consent by the driver or the vehicle owner.

People who have been issued charges for possession of illegal drugs after such a stop can face significant penalties if a conviction is obtained. Accordingly, they might find it advisable to obtain the assistance of a criminal defense attorney as soon as possible so that a strategy for combating the allegations can be constructed.

Source: Mass Live, “Leominster man facing heroin distribution charge after traffic stop,” Scott J. Croteau, Dec. 4, 2016