In a drug bust south of Jacksonville, Port Richey police arrested a man for possessing many drugs based on a traffic citation. Frederick Kokaram was pulled over by police to check the tint on his car. Upon making contact with Kokaram, the officer claims to have smelled the odor of marijuana emitting from the car. This automatically gives the officer the right to search the car. In addition to the odor of pot, Port Richey police also say they saw a marijuana cigarette in plain view. Upon searching Kokaram’s car, police found over 228 grams of marijuana, over 11 grams of crack cocaine, 3 1/2 Oxycodone pills, scales, and bags. He was arrested for possession of marijuana with the intent to sell (a felony), possession of cocaine with the intent to sell (a felony), possession of a controlled substance (a felony), possession of paraphernalia (a misdemeanor), and received a civil citation for the dark tint.
In Jacksonville, the Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office conducts traffic stops of cars that in their opinion, are suspicious. They cannot pull you over for that reason alone, so they justify the stop with possible civil citations. You can be pulled over for “possibly” having dark window tint. As a Jacksonville Criminal Defense Attorney, I advise my clients to take all tint off of their windows. If you have ANY tint at all, JSO can pull you over to check it. Even if it is perfectly legal, you subject yourself to a traffic stop at any time. Once you are pulled over, the officers can say they smelled the odor of marijuana coming from the inside of your car. If the police say they smell pot in your car, it gives them the right to search your car. Even if no marijuana was found in your car, the police and prosecutors will try to justify the search by saying that you could have recently smoked in the car and threw it out. These are just a couple of ways the police can abuse their power and if you are pulled over and subsequently arrested based on these reasons, you should contact a Duval County Criminal Defense Law Firm.