Drug charges arising from traffic stops always warrant some degree of extra scrutiny by criminal defense counsel. The stop must be for a legitimate traffic violation, and must not be a manufactured, pretextual event. The stop must be conducted for the limited purpose of ticketing the driver for the traffic violation. Turning a limited traffic stop into drug charges in New York or any other state can constitute a violation of Fourth Amendment rights.
A recent arrest on heroin possession and intent to sell charges occurred after Rochester police stopped a pickup truck for no license plate lamps and not signaling when turning. Police allege that the driver told them that he had just snorted heroin. Police searched the vehicle and allegedly found 198 bags of heroin, roughly the equivalent of 45 grams.