Many Ohio residents may not be aware that there are restrictions on the ways in which they can alter their vehicles. Senate Bill 305, passed in 2012, has placed prohibitions on designing, modifying, altering, building or constructing a hidden compartment in one’s vehicle with the intent to conceal a controlled substance. Additionally, if one is operating, using or possessing a vehicle that has a hidden compartment and they know it was used to transport a controlled substance, they may find themselves facing drug crime charges as well.
An Ohio resident finds herself facing a number of charges, including those of operating a vehicle with a false compartment, after police allegedly found four pounds of heroin in her vehicle. The police put the value of the retrieved substance at $300,000.
According to police officials, they pulled over the vehicle being operated by a 25-year-old woman for an impeding traffic violation near Cincinnati. According to the troopers, they not only observed criminal indicators, their patrol-dug sniffing canine also alerted them to the car. They stated it was a probable cause search, after which they allegedly found the heroin. They charged both the driver and her 19-year-old passenger with possession and drug trafficking of heroin.
When police authorities stop a vehicle and conduct a search, they must have probable cause to do so. This means there must have been a valid reason for the car to pull over the vehicle. If this is not the case, then a capable defense attorney may be able to have the search and resulting evidence dismissed from consideration. It might be beneficial to consult an experienced attorney for guidance on how to mount a strong defense when facing drug charges.