Louisiana is tough on drug crimes. In an effort to decrease these types of violations, federal and state officials provide zero or close-to-zero tolerance for drug offenses. Investigators aggressively pursue these charges, and criminal penalties for conviction are becoming increasingly severe, even for first-time offenders. Therefore, it is critical that anyone charged with a drug offense zealously fight the charge.

Last Thursday morning, two men from Alabama were driving on Interstate 10 in West Baton Rouge when police stopped them. According to authorities, after the vehicle was stopped, a drug-sniffing dog detected marijuana in the car. When law enforcement officials searched the vehicle, they apparently discovered 45 pounds of marijuana. They said they also found more than $22,000 in cash, which they claimed was packaged with the drugs.

Louisiana State Police arrested both men and charged them with possessing marijuana with intent to distribute it.

Anyone who has been charged with a drug offense should understand that just because police found illegal narcotics in a vehicle does not necessarily mean that he or she will be found guilty. A good defense lawyer will look at all aspects of the case. Was the traffic stop legal? Did the officers have valid reason to search the car? Who is the owner of the vehicle? Did authorities follow proper protocol?

The defense lawyer will then build a defense strategy based on the evidence. If law enforcement officials violated a defendant’s constitutional rights in any way, that evidence will be used against the prosecution.

Source: The Republic, “Police: 2 Ala. men arrested after troopers find 45 pounds of marijuana in vehicle,” 12 March 2011