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Pair accused of cocaine trafficking after Florence hotel arrest

In South Carolina drug arrests, what matters most for defendants is the nature of the charge. The main factors in such a case are usually the following:

  • The kind of charge
  • Whether or not the accused has been arrested before
  • Whether or not the accused has been convicted before
  • And the amount of the drug in question

A recent arrest in Florence County has led to drug trafficking charges against two young people, a 21-year-old woman and a 22-year-old man. But the circumstances of their arrest raise some important criminal defense questions.

The man and woman were reportedly staying at a hotel when a housekeeper came by the room. The housekeeper tried to talk to the young man and woman, who were apparently asleep. A news article calls them "unresponsive."

The housekeeper then went back to the front desk of the hotel, and police were called. When deputies arrived, the door of the hotel room had been left slightly open, and the pair in the room were still asleep, according to authorities.

The deputies woke up the man and woman, and between 10 and 20 grams of cocaine were reportedly found in the room, along with some money and what authorities described as "drug distribution material."

Now both suspects are charged with cocaine trafficking.

Regarding arrests in which authorities have entered a dwelling and conducted a search, it is always important to ask whether or not officers or deputies had the right to enter. Without probable cause or a search warrant, police may not simply enter a dwelling and conduct a search.

Whenever an arresting officer does enter a residence or hotel room, then the accused parties in any case have the right to contest the circumstances of the arrest.

Source: WMBF News, "Florence Co. duo charged with trafficking cocaine," Brooke Whitson, Sept. 16, 2013

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