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West Virginia traffic stop results in multiple charges

A man is facing several charges following a traffic stop in Huntington on July 10. The driver is facing charges of felon in possession of a firearm, possession with intent to deliver and DUI. Police officers spotted a white sedan traveling at a high rate of speed in the 2500 block of 5th Avenue. The driver was stopped by police at 26th Street and the 400 block of 4th Avenue.

Officers searched the driver's vehicle and reportedly discovered more than $59,000 in cash, a loaded 9mm pistol, 50 grams of heroin, 104 grams of cocaine and an open container of alcohol. A blood alcohol test revealed a blood alcohol level of .114. The driver was convicted of drug charges and other offenses in 2009 and 2008. He is being held on a bond of $553,000. He is scheduled for a hearing at the Cabell County Courthouse at 10:30 a.m. on July 21.

When a defendant has a history of convictions for various offenses, a criminal defense attorney may be concerned that a judge or jury could be negatively influenced by this and, therefore, more likely to convict. In that event, the attorney may suggest a plea bargain rather than face a trial. The defendant has the right to refuse a plea deal; however, the case will move forward to trial.

If police officers searched a defendant's vehicle illegally, meaning without probable cause, the evidence might be excluded from court. Prosecutors rely on evidence to build their cases and are much less likely to pursue a case if the evidence is suppressed. An attorney may review a defendant's case to determine whether police violated a defendant's rights by searching his or her vehicle, person or residence.

Source: WOWK-TV, "Man arrested for DUI, drug and weapons charges in Huntington, WV", July 11, 2014

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