Law enforcement often depends on someone committing a minor infraction to open the door to searches and seizures, which may, in turn, result in charges for more serious crimes. In Nebraska, the rise in drug addiction has police especially vigilant for opportunities that can lead to drug charges. However, officers must still follow the law.
Recently, police noticed a 53-year-old man riding his bike on a pedestrian crosswalk. The officer, who says he believed riding a bike in a crosswalk to be a violation of city ordinances, stopped the man, apparently to inform him of local bike rules. During their conversation, the officer says he suspected the man was under the influence of drugs and noticed that the man appeared to have something in his shirt pocket. Reportedly suspecting it was a small baggie of methamphetamine, the officer attempted to arrest the man, who allegedly resisted and ran, forcing police to tackle him.
The man was charged with possessing meth with intent to deliver, possessing drug money and resisting arrest, which are all felonies. However, the drug charges were based on evidence obtained after the man was stopped for apparently illegal use of a crosswalk. As it turns out, there is no city ordinance against bikes in crosswalks, and a Nebraska judge agreed that the stop was unlawful. Because of this, the judged ruled inadmissible the evidence of any drug crimes, but the resisting arrest charge stands.
When facing drug charges or any criminal allegation, it may be difficult for someone to know the best way to protect his or her future. However, having an experienced attorney may mean the difference between years in prison and a much lighter sentence. Contacting an attorney as soon as possible after an arrest is often the best course of action.
Source: usnews.com, “Drug Charges Tossed Against Man Following Unlawful Stop”, July 15, 2017