A 20-year-old Florida woman was found to be in possession of a bag of heroin after her vehicle was pulled over in Sumter County on Oct. 23. The accused woman was a passenger in a car that sheriff’s deputies stopped for having a tinted windshield. When a K-9 unit alerted deputies to drugs in the car, the woman’s purse was searched.
Deputies looked through the accused woman’s purse and allegedly found a bag of heroin, $565 and straws. There was no report indicating the exact quantity of heroin that was allegedly found. The woman told deputies that the purse actually belonged to her mother, who is addicted to drugs. However, the driver of the vehicle did not corroborate the woman’s story.
The woman was taken into custody for one felony count of drug possession and one misdemeanor charge of possession of drug equipment. Reports of the incident did not mention whether the driver of the vehicle was handed any charges. It is also unclear whether the accused woman has any prior drug charges on her record.
A person who is found to be in possession of drugs during a traffic stop might argue that the search was unlawful. If police did not have probable cause to stop a person’s vehicle and the person did not consent to a search, the evidence that police found during the search may not be admissible in court. An attorney may be able to help a defendant dispute drug charges that resulted from a warrantless search.