After getting pulled over for an expired registration on Dec. 19, an Illinois man was arrested on multiple drug counts. The 35-year-old man was stopped while driving on Highway 61 in Macomb near the Hancock County line at 12:08 a.m. A McDonough County Sheriff’s deputy who stopped the man allegedly smelled marijuana when he approached the man’s vehicle.
Deputies conducted a search of the man’s vehicle on the assumption that there was probable cause. According to their records, several illegal substances were discovered in the vehicle, including 23.4 grams of marijuana, 27.43 grams of methamphetamine and 10 hydrocodone pills. The man was charged for possession of between 10 and 30 grams of cannabis, possession and delivery of between 15 and 100 grams of methamphetamine and possession of a controlled substance.
In addition to the drug charges, the man was handed traffic citations for the incident. He was charged for not having insurance or valid vehicle registration and for driving with a suspended license. The accused man was held at the McDonough County Jail on a $50,000 bond, with a $5,000 cash bond needed for his release.
When law enforcement officers conduct a warrantless vehicle search during a traffic stop, they must have probable cause to do so, or they must get consent from the vehicle owner. If the police search doesn’t fall under either of those categories, the evidence that they took out of the vehicle might not be admissible in court. Depending on the details of the case, a criminal defense attorney could help a client who is facing drug charges argue that the search of their vehicle was unlawful.