A 32-year-old Bryan man was pulled over Saturday night because police thought his registration had expired. But that expired registration quickly became the least of the man's worries.

According to a police report filed after the incident, an officer pulled the man over shortly after midnight, apparently because he could tell from the man's license plate that his registration was not up to date. As he spoke to the man through the window, the officer said he could smell a powerful odor of alcohol and could see an open bottle of vodka in the backseat of the vehicle.

As the officer was in the process of arresting the man, he found a straw in the man's hand that contained a substance he believed to be cocaine.

The man has now been charged with DWI-open container and possession of a controlled substance. If he is convicted of both offenses, he could wind up paying $12,000 in fines and spend 2.5 years in jail.

We are curious to hear what happened to the straw that the officer believed had cocaine in it. The substance ought to have been tested by an accredited lab, and the straw kept as evidence. That might sound obvious, but you might be surprised at how often even conventionally understood protocol isn't followed in many situations.

We know from experience that after they are accused of a crime, many people feel like they have lost the fight before it has even begun. After all, what can they do?

Try as hard as you can to resist the temptation to slide into a defeatist attitude. You may not realize how many rights and options you have. You should at least consider speaking with a criminal defense attorney about your situation.

Source: The Bryan-College Station Eagle, "Police: Driver had open container, cocaine," March 3, 2013

In our law firm, we address many of the criminal law issues raised here, including DUI charges, registration or driver's license revocations and suspensions and moving violations. You are welcome to visit our website; it's accessible by the link the previous sentence.