Phoenix, AZ asked in Criminal Law, Civil Rights and Constitutional Law for Arizona

Q: AZ. Vehicle traffic stop for a taillight out. Baggie of medications (various pills) + an insulin syringe in plain sight.

When asked about bag of meds, Driver informs officer he is a Type 1 Diabetic but ran out of insulin, & is on the way home to retrieve spare insulin vial.

Driver also wearing a CGM (blood sugar monitor) & high blood sugar alarm repeatedly goes off during interaction. Would the baggie of meds & a syringe in plain sight constitute probable cause? ~> are medications in a baggie suspicious ? What if driver was a 70yo woman & not a 30yo male?!? Reasonable suspicion?? ~~~>

1 Lawyer Answer
Steven Scharboneau
Steven Scharboneau
  • Criminal Law Lawyer
  • Scottsdale, AZ
  • Licensed in Arizona

A: It would depend on what happened after the officer saw the medication and the syringe. If you are saying that the officer used that observation to extend the traffic stop for the tail light to investigate into drug possession--there may be a Forth Amendment issue here. The USSC has said there are problems with that in a case called Rodriguez. Was he actually charged with a crime? Generally speaking, an illegal search only results in the suppression of evidence used against a person in a criminal investigation.

If there are criminal charges filed, you should reach out to a criminal defense attorney right away. Most of us on here (myself included) will discuss your case with you free of charge.

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