When you have been stopped by the police, there obviously has to be a reason for the stop. Police stop people under a rule known as “reasonable suspicion.” This applies to every police stop. If a police officer sees you driving down a road and believes that you have been involved in a crime, they must have reason to believe that a violation has occurred. For instance, perhaps somebody has pointed out your vehicle and your identity in relation to a crime, and police see that same vehicle and someone who likes like the right driver coming toward them. This could be reasonable suspicion to pull over a driver.
However, if a police officer wants to hold somebody for a period of time at a police stop, they will need probable cause to do so. This is the standard that police are held by to believe that a crime might have been committed.
When is a Stop Unlawful?
A police stop is probably considered to be “unlawful” in nature when they do not have reasonable suspicion to pull them over. A good example of this is a cop just pulling you over because they wanted to, and then asking if they can search your vehicle even though you have not committed any type of crime. Another good example is when a cop sees somebody enter a bar, stay for a few hours, and then drive away. Yes, it might be reasonable to suspect that the driver was drinking and driving. However, the police cannot legally pull them over if they have not been executing behavior related to drunk driving, such as driving erratically.
Were you pulled over by police and you don’t believe that police acted reasonably in doing so? Now you think your rights have been breached and you wonder where to turn to defend yourself. At the Law Office of Peter Blair, we can help you every step of the way when it comes to your case. Call us today for more information on how we can help you.