Sheriff's deputies in Wicomico County claim that they saw a man acting suspiciously in the parking lot of a Royal Farms store late last month. The alleged suspicious behavior led to police approaching the man -- a 39-year-old from Salisbury -- and questioning him. This, in turn, resulted in his arrest.
The arresting officer says that the man was slapping the ground in front of the Royal Farms store along Royal Boulevard. When the deputy approached him, the man allegedly claimed that he had been locked out of his vehicle. The deputy then proceeded to assist the man in gaining access to the interior of the car by unlocking the door via an open window.
The officer said that after observing the man's behavior, he began to suspect that the 39-year-old was under the influence of drugs. The officer claims that this offered him sufficient probable cause to search the man's car.
The deputy said that the search of the vehicle produced drugs and drug paraphernalia, including cocaine. Sheriff's deputies arrested the man after discovering the alleged cocaine and booked him at the Central Booking Unit.
In this case, the notion of whether the arresting officer had "probable cause" to conduct a search is important. Without sufficient probable cause, police cannot lawfully conduct a search of a person's property.
If you've been accused of a drug crime, you need to get serious about your criminal defense. Even if the evidence against you is strong, you may still be able to improve your situation and reduce the severity of any eventual punishment.