Interstate drug trafficking is a problem wherever there are highways. In Northwest Indiana I-80, I-94, and I-65 are some of the biggest drug trafficking highways. If your traffic stop leads to a drug bust, you need an experienced traffic stop attorney to help protect your interests and preserve your rights. Stracci Law Group's criminal defense team has decades of experience serving as lawyers for interstate drug trafficking defendants in Crown Point, Hammond, Gary, Portage, Valparaiso, Rensselaer, Kentland, and throughout Northwest Indiana.
Your Rights During a Traffic Stop Drug Bust in Crown Point, IN
Transporting drugs across state lines is dangerous business. With drug checkpoints on I-80, I-94, and I-65, if you are holding controlled substances, including Marijuana, there is a decent chance a traffic stop leads to a drug bust. Only an experienced drug I-80 stop lawyer like those at Stracci Law Group can help you preserve your rights and limit the damage to your life.
Your rights during a traffic stop drug bust include:
- Remain silent. The interdiction officer will try to get you to tell him all about where you have been, what you were doing, where you are going, and what you were going to do once there. It's all a trick. He’s actually looking for small, and sometimes imagined, inconsistencies in your story as a reason to search your car.
- Refusing consent to search. You do not have to agree to allow the police to search your car without a warrant. Even if the officer says he can get a warrant, you should not consent to a search. In Indiana, if you are in custody, the officer must also advise you of certain rights including your right to refuse the search and your right to talk to an attorney before consenting to a search. Beware, however. This only protects you in Indiana State Courts, not Federal Courts.
Drug Possession vs. Interstate Trafficking in Indiana
Interstate drug trafficking laws in Indiana are the same as laws for possessing, possessing with intent to distribute, distributing, and manufacturing controlled substances. Drug interdiction on interstate highways, however, works differently than typical narcotics investigations.
Rather than using confidential informants to secretly buy drugs or searching your vehicle incident to arrest on another offense, interstate drug trafficking investigations are targeted at controlled substances like cocaine, heroin, methamphetamine, and marijuana traveling through Indiana. In the case of marijuana, this can include traveling from one State where marijuana is legal to another state where marijuana is legal.
To create drug interdiction stops on the biggest drug trafficking highways, law enforcement uses a number of tools, including:
- Tips from out-of-state informants and law enforcement agencies
- License plate readers
- Spot cars (watching for likely targets) and chase cars (who actually stop the target)
- “Inviting” you to sit in their car while they prepare a “warning ticket”
- Drug sniffing dogs
- Extensive questioning to create inconsistencies in your movements and to cause delay so a drug-sniffing dog can arrive
- Separate questioning of you and your passengers
- Rental vehicle databases that tell them when and where a rental car was obtained
Lake County Interstate Drug Trafficking Penalties & Charges
Common traffic stop drugs are cocaine, heroin, methamphetamine, and marijuana. If you are found in possession of these controlled substances during a drug interdiction traffic stop, you will likely be charged with felony offenses for possessing those drugs with intent to distribute. The penalties for these charges can range from as little as 6 months in jail if the substance is marijuana to as much as 30 years in prison for large quantities of heroin, cocaine, or methamphetamine.
Drug interdiction police take interstate 80 drug trafficking, interstate 94 drug trafficking, and interstate 65 drug trafficking very seriously. Often, their patrols are specially funded by grants that depend on the end results of a traffic stop drug bust. Only an experienced relentless defense can combat this interest and reach a favorable outcome for you.
NWI Interstate Drug-Related Traffic Stop Possible Defenses
Because Northwest Indiana has multiple drug trafficking interstates, the highway drug stops lawyers of Stracci Law Group maintain razor-sharp skills and cutting-edge knowledge about drug interstate interdiction. Defending these cases usually comes down to 2 issues: whether the traffic stop was legal and whether there is enough evidence of possession. Even if police suspect you are involved in interstate drug trafficking because of your rental car or because you have engaged in what they call “avoidance,” the officer must still observe you committing a traffic violation before pulling you over.
When an officer makes a drug interdiction traffic stop without observing a traffic infraction, the drugs he finds may be excluded from evidence. Equally important, the officer must produce enough proof to show that you knew the drugs were there and had both the ability and intent to exercise control over them. This can be a problem for the State when you are simply a passenger in a car or are driving someone else’s car and the drugs are found in a hidden compartment.
How Stracci Law Group Can Help with Highway Traffic Interdiction Stop Cases in Crown Point
Without the right lawyer, traffic stops can have a serious impact on your life and freedom. Traffic stops resulting in drug charges require a traffic stop attorney experienced in interstate drug trafficking laws to protect your rights and reach the best possible outcome. If your traffic stop leads to a drug bust, call Stracci Law Group immediately at (219) 525-1000 to start working on the best defense for you.