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Routine traffic stop ends in felony arrest of Texas man

It is not unusual for a routine encounter between police and the public to end in an arrest. A routine traffic stop by police ended with the arrest of a 23-year-old Texas man on suspicion of drug possession and felony charges of possession of a firearm.

The young man's troubles began when police ran his information and discovered that he had a prior felony conviction. A subsequent search of his car allegedly yielded a quantity of prescription pills, an illegal handgun and marijuana. Police seized the evidence and arrested the suspect, who was detained at a detention center in lieu of $5,000 bond.

Legal confidentiality prevented the police or the prosecutor's office from disclosing details of the man's prior felony conviction. Regardless of the underlying charge, a prior felony conviction can increase the penalties a judge may impose at the time of sentencing. This could include a longer prison sentence and higher fines.

Most gun and drug charge prosecutions are supported by evidence seized following a search conducted by the police. A criminal defense attorney representing a person charged with committing drug offenses can look carefully at the manner in which the police obtained the evidence to be offered at trial against the accused person.

Constitutional issues are often a key element in a drug charge defense. If the police did not have probable cause to search a suspect's vehicle, a judge can be asked through a defense motion to suppress the evidence seized during a search. A successful motion to suppress could weaken the prosecution's case and possibly result in a dismissal of charges.

Source: KFSM-TV, "Police find gun, drugs in car with convicted felon," Shain Bergan, Oct. 31, 2012

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