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NFL running back faces drug charges following traffic stop

An NFL running back is facing drug charges following a January traffic stop in Florida. Mark Walton, running back for the Cincinnati Bengals, reportedly is facing a marijuana possession charge after officers alleged smelled marijuana and found drugs in his vehicle during a traffic stop.

Walton apparently was also arrested in February for a separate battery charge resulting from an argument with a couple about his vehicle blocking a garage entrance. Walton was released on bond following the arrest and will be appearing in court at a later date.

In Florida, possession of up to 20 grams of marijuana is classified as a misdemeanor offense and, if convicted, the accused could face up to a year in jail, plus court costs. Possession of more than 20 grams could result in a felony charge with even more serious consequences.

A number of drug arrests occur following a routine traffic stop. Generally, the officer will stop the vehicle for a routine traffic violation, such as speeding or running a red light. When the officer approaches the vehicle and speaks to the driver, the officer may notice signs of intoxication or evidence of drug use. Once the officer has probable cause to believe that the driver was involved in criminal activity, the officer may search the vehicle for additional evidence. However, if the officer searches the vehicle without probable cause, any evidence found during the search may be thrown out of the case brought against the driver by making a motion to "suppress" the evidence.

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