A friend was arrested in a motel room. The sherriffs department ran the plates and said this person had a traffic warrant from Arkansas, over ten years ago. They took him out of the motel room, searched him, the room and his car. The car was impounded. What they apparently found was three ounces of marijuana/scale though this person has medical marijuana card. Was this a legal search and would the traffic warrant that old show up on NCIC database. Thanks so much.
Federal Crime Lawyer
Misdemeanors can show up on the NCIC database. Not all of them do. However, more troubling is the description of the search of your friend and the room based on nothing more than an outstanding traffic warrant. Your friend needs to consult with an experienced criminal defense lawyer right away in order to determine whether or not the search of the room was proper. This analysis cannot be done merely through a website inquiry as the law of search and seizure is a complex and changing area.
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1 lawyer agrees
Speeding / Traffic Ticket Lawyer
The old Arkansas traffic ticket went to warrant became a much more serious than it was had he dealt with it 10 years earlier. He needs an attorney to deal with the CA arrest and search and seizure issues. He also needs an Arkansas attorney to deal with the old warrant.
Criminal Defense Attorney
The answer to your first question is, yes, a ten-year-old traffic warrant will show up on NCIC. However, I doubt seriously that a warrant for something as minor as a traffic violation that is at least ten-years-old would require an arrest and/or search of your friend - much less his room and vehicle.
There is absolutely no chance that Arkansas would extradite your friend from California to Arkansas on an old traffic warrant. Way too much money for the offense, (unless by "traffic offense" you're talking about vehicular manslaughter or something like that!)
Either your friend gave permission to search or the cops just ran over him like a steam-roller. I am assuming he is now being charged with the marijuana offenses? He definitely needs to be represented by counsel and have them look into the validity of the warrant, it's limits, etc. and then from there examine the circumstances surrounding the search and seizure.