My brother was involved in a routine traffic stop and arrested

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My brother was involved in a routine traffic stop and arrested

My brother was a passenger in a vehicle that was pulled over do to expired plates the owner was not there but the daughter of the owner was driving. They came directly to the passenger side said they smelled pot asked him to get out they then patted him down found nothing and handcuffed him. He was not aggressive he has no prior convictions or any reason to believe him to be dangerous. The driver was also asked to get out but was not searched or cuffed. There was a book bag in the back seat with nothing to identify who’s it was they found marijuana and then took my brother to jail he never admitted it to be his bag. Also, the arresting officer is a friend or the owners car and let the driver her daughter go free. How is this legal?

Asked on November 30, 2018 under Criminal Law, Indiana

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 2 years ago | Contributor

It is legal. The stop was legal due to expired plates. The smell of pot justified the pat down and search of the car. If the officers believed it more likely--even it turns out later that they were wrong--that it was his pot, the arrest was justified. It takes a lot more evidence ("beyond a reasonable doubt") to convict, so it's entirely possible that they will not be able to convict him--but if the daughter claims that it was his pot, not hers, and she is believeable, they may be able to do so, so this must be taken seriously. Hiring him a criminal defense lawyer to help him out is the best thing you can do for him.


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