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User Alert: Understanding Law Enforcement Practices During Traffic Stops to Avoid Possession Charges

Overland Park, Ks. — May 15, 2024 — In an effort to promote safe and informed driving practices, Kitchin Law Firm, a local criminal defense law firm, sheds light on the top six reasons how law enforcement officers use traffic stops to scrutinize vehicles for drugs. This user alert, curated by attorney John Kitchin, aims to educate drivers on potential triggers that could lead to further investigation by law enforcement:

  1. Erratic Driving Behavior: Behaviors such as weaving between lanes, sudden lane changes without signaling, or driving well below or above the speed limit may raise suspicion and lead to a closer inspection for drugs.
  2. Vehicle Hygiene: Vehicles with strong odors of marijuana or other drugs, or visible drug paraphernalia, may arouse suspicion and prompt law enforcement to conduct a search.
  3. Behavioral Indicators: Suspicious behavior such as attempting to conceal items, refusing to make eye contact with law enforcement, or displaying evasive answers to questions may lead to further scrutiny, including searching for drugs.
  4. Vehicle Profile: Vehicles with characteristics that commonly correlate with drug transportation, such as heavily tinted windows, expired registration, or out-of-state plates,may attract increased attention from law enforcement.
  5. Nervous Behavior: Excessive nervousness or evasive behavior exhibited by the driver or passengers may raise suspicion and lead to further investigation, including searching for drugs.
  6. Prior Criminal Record: Individuals with a history of drug-related offenses or on law enforcement watchlists may be subject to increased scrutiny during traffic stops, including searches for drugs.

John Kitchin, founder of Kitchin Law Firm, emphasizes the importance of understanding law enforcement practices during traffic stops. “By being aware of the reasons why law enforcement may look for drugs during traffic stops, users can take proactive steps to ensure a smoother interaction and protect their rights,” says Kitchin. “People assume smoking pot in Kansas is legal because you can smoke in Missouri. If you cross the state line after smoking in your car and a Kansas officer stops you and he smells pot coming from your car, the officer will search your car looking for drugs.”

For more information or interviews, contact Kitchin Law Firm at 816-501-8333.

About Kitchin Law Firm:
Kitchin Law Firm is a distinguished legal practice based in Kansas City, Missouri, specializing in criminal defense, DUI/DWI defense, traffic tickets, and personal injury cases. Led by seasoned attorney John Kitchin, the firm is dedicated to providing expert legal representation and safeguarding the rights of its clients. For more information, visit

John Kitchin
Kitchin Law Firm
Phone: 816-501-8333

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