Not All Traffic Stops Are Legal
When police conduct a traffic stop on an individual, the law requires that the stopping Officer to have developed reasonable suspicion or probable cause before the traffic stop is made. When you hire a criminal defense attorney, they will make sure your rights were not violated when the police conduct such a stop of your vehicle. Reasonable suspicion or probable cause can arise from a multitude of factors. Examples can be: speeding, running a stop sign, equipment malfunction, failing to signal, weaving, etc…
When a traffic stop is made without reasonable suspicion or probable cause, defense attorneys can file a motion to suppress alleging that law enforcement detained their client in violation of the 4th Amendment of the Constitution. If the Court grants the motion to suppress, then all evidence obtained after traffic stop will be thrown out of court and unavailable for the prosecution to use against the Defendant. Such evidence can be: the Defendant’s identity, drugs, firearms, incriminating statements, observations by law enforcement, performance of Field Sobriety Exercises, breath tests, etc… Often, without this crucial evidence there is nothing left for the State to rely on to prove the charges against the accused therefore forcing the prosecution to drop the entire case.
For example, just because someone:
- fails to use a turn signal when switching lanes,
- weaves within or outside their lane of travel,
- makes a wide turn,
- has a nonfunctional brake light,
- has a cracked windshield,
- is parked behind a closed business,
- drives with an improper tag attached to the vehicle,
- drives with a partially obscured temporary tag attached to the vehicle,
- drives a vehicle that is registered to someone who has a suspended license,
- drives a vehicle with a cracked tail light,
- squeals their tires,
- stops their vehicle in the roadway,
- improperly backs their vehicle in the roadway,
- has an item in the rear windshield obstructing the driver’s view,
- has an item hanging from the rearview mirror,…
…does NOT always give law enforcement the legal right to conduct a traffic stop!
The Motions to Suppress described above are only one of the many ways the attorneys at Roman & Roman can help to FIGHT YOUR CHARGES!!!