The question we would get most often on our website is, “When can a cop pull you over for a suspected crime?”
What comes into play here is your fourth amendment protections rights against illegal searches and seizures. For example, can a cop come up to you, and just ask to search your pockets? Or ask you to pull your car over for no apparent reason. Now a cop needs what is called, “reasonable suspicion.” There needs to be something wrong that indicates to him that a crime has been committed.
For instance, if you are driving your car down the road, and a cop sees that you have a tail light that’s out, you have now committed some type of an act that would give him a reason to pull you over.
Or let’s say you’re driving your car down the road, and your swerving back and forth between the lanes. The cop now has reasonable suspicion to believe that you have committed a crime. He can pull you over, and he could maybe search your car, or ask you questions about what you might have done.
However, if you are just driving down the road, and nothing has been done, a cop does not have the right to pull you over. The officer can’t just suspect that someone might be smoking marijuana, and decide to pull them over if they haven’t done anything wrong.
If someone has not done anything wrong, the cop can’t suspect the person may be driving without a license and pull them over. One of the things we do most often as attorney’s, is we look at each arrest. Then we determine if the cop had the right to pull that person over. If not, the charges will likely be dropped later.
Earlier, I mentioned driving without a license. One of our clients had been pulled over by a police officer, because the cop said, “well his tail light was out, therefore that gave me a reason to pull him over, and check his driver’s license.” In this particular case, we requested a video. It turns out, the video from the cops car showed that our clients tail light was working just fine. Our client’s tail light was not out, so the cop did not have a reason to pull him over, and then later on give him a ticket. When we found this out, we told the government, and the charges were dropped. The police officer violated our client’s fourth amendment protection right, against illegal searches and seizures. So, if you have any questions about this, or maybe you have been arrested for a crime that you’d like to talk to an Atlanta attorney about an illegal stop, call our firm any time. Contact us online or call (770) 941-0913 today for free consultation.