During a traffic stop, Oregon police will look for other evidence of misconduct. People may think that police are just ticketing them for speeding, or some other traffic infraction, but in reality, the police are analyzing the situation. Police are specially trained to look for evidence of other criminal misconduct when they are talking with people. During a traffic stop, if the police suspect that another crime has taken place, they may have the probable cause they need to search the vehicle. These searches frequently lead to other criminal charges including drug charges.
As previous blog posts have mentioned, Oregon has a complicated relationship with marijuana, and therefore, complicated marijuana laws. While marijuana possession laws tend to be less severe than in other areas of the country, there are still severe sanctions for drug trafficking. The laws surrounding medical marijuana can be even more involved and murky. People who are interested in producing or using medical marijuana need to fully understand their rights, and their limitations or else they may face drug charges.
The United States Constitution protects people from unreasonable searches and seizures by requiring police to get a search warrant before a search is allowed. Under these search and seizure rules, search warrants are limited in their scope. They must specifically define where a search is taking place and what is being searched. When Oregon police are searching subject to a search warrant, they cannot legally expand their search to include other places or people.
Oregon police search for drugs in a lot of different places. Depending on the circumstances of the search, police may need a warrant to search people or their belongings.
Oregon police will often stop at nothing to find people who have been indicted for crimes. If necessary, local Oregon police departments can ask other agencies -- including the Oregon state police, U.S. Marshals, the FBI and others -- to help in the investigation and capture of wanted criminals. Once other agencies are involved it becomes very likely that someone will be arrested, eventually.
Under the constitution of the United States, those accused of criminal wrongdoing are supposed to be treated as innocent until proven guilty. This means that people should not face punishments for supposed crimes until they have been found guilty in a court of law. Unfortunately, people are often judged as guilty by members of the community and in the media from the moment criminal accusations surface.
Police rely on a variety of sources in order to find people who are breaking the law including tips from citizens. According to police, a tip led them to investigate reports of drug deals at a local neighborhood in Northeast Portland. Following this investigation, three individuals were arrested on drug charges.
Under Oregon law, people can grow and sell medical marijuana under very specific conditions. First, these people must have the proper permits and be a licensed grower. Second, licensed growers can only sell to up to four patients with an Oregon Medicinal Marijuana Program card. Finally, these people can only sell the marijuana to recoup the costs of growing it and nothing more. If these rules are not carefully followed, then people can face felony drug charges.
While police and prosecutors take drug use and possession seriously, criminal charges for these crimes are generally much less severe than the charges for drug manufacturing and drug trafficking. Drug charges for the manufacturing, cultivation or trafficking of drugs in Oregon are generally felonies and are subject to sentencing guidelines.
When police are on patrol they are often looking for people who are violating traffic laws. These routine traffic stops can include speeding, running stop signs and other minor infractions. However, once a stop occurs, police can start to look for signs that other crimes are occurring. Police will observe the driver, any passengers and anything in the open to see if there is any evidence that another crime has occurred. In some cases, police may find evidence of drug use or possession. In these cases, drug charges are likely.