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Lansing men arrested on drug, weapons charges after traffic stop

Drivers who take to the roads in the Lansing area do so with an understanding that they must follow traffic rules, or risk getting pulled over by the police. However, law enforcement officers have rules they need to follow too. These rules, such as the probable cause requirement, are meant to curb the huge imbalance of power between officers and the public, and reduce the number of unjustified arrests.

A pair of Lansing men were arrested in East Lansing on Jan. 12 on drug charges, as well as weapons charges. Their arrests came after police pulled over their vehicle and conducted a search.

According to the Lansing State Journal, the arresting officer said that he or she pulled over the suspects after allegedly observing it going 41 miles per hour in a 35 mph zone. It seems unlikely that every vehicle gets pulled over for driving six miles over the speed limit. However, the officer said that weather conditions led to the decision to pursue the suspects.

During the traffic stop, the officer searched the car. He claims he found nearly 16 grams of marijuana, a digital scale, and a loaded handgun. Both men were arrested on suspicion of carrying a concealed weapon, a felony. One of them was also arrested for misdemeanor marijuana possession. This seems to suggest that authorities do not whom to specifically accuse of possessing the gun.

A person who is arrested as the result of a traffic stop should speak to a criminal defense attorney as soon as possible, and not answer questions from the police beforehand. Police must have a reasonable, articulable suspicion that the occupants of a car is committing or has committed a crime before they are allowed to pull it over.

If the officer does not follow the rules, any resulting evidence prosecutors wish to use against the defendant might not be allowed in court.

Source: Lansing State Journal, “East Lansing police arrest two men on gun, drug charges,” Dawn Parker, Jan. 17, 2014

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