Reasonable suspicion is a lot like the phrase you may have heard, “probable cause,” which gives an officer a reason to pull you over for a crime. Reasonable suspicion is what is needed for a cop to pull you over and investigate, if they are suspicious that you may have committed a crime. Today we will take a closer look at reasonable suspicion in these cases and how it may play a part in your case.
Probable Cause and Reasonable Suspicion at Traffic Stops
Probable cause may be used at a traffic stop; however, it is not necessary. In many cases, probable cause is what an officer uses so that they can acquire a search warrant to investigate a probable crime. The reasonable suspicion standards, unlike probable cause, are not part of the federal constitution. Instead, these suspicions are less than probable cause in the eyes of the law. The officer must have facts that show that a criminal activity is actually taking place if they want to investigate you based on reasonable suspicion. A lower degree of evidence is needed in these cases. These cases usually involve some type of criminal defendant who could be armed.
Why Would I be Pulled Over for a Traffic Stop?
There are many legitimate reasons for a traffic stop, even if you do not think they are necessary. The stop could have been deemed ‘just’ under many circumstances. Most are due to suspicion of criminal activity, traffic violations, and more. Perhaps the law enforcement officer observed an offense right before their eyes. Perhaps they had a call that somebody may have been involved in a crime. Whatever the reason, there are many ways in which these stops take place. In fact, the National Highway Safety Administration says that reasonable suspicion can take place in cases where a defendant weaved across lane lines, swerved, or is using unjust slow speed. These are factors that determine a crime may be at play.
At The Law Office of Peter Blair, we are here for you if you have been charged with a crime but you believe that your arrest was unjust. If you believe that reasonable suspicion was not warranted in your case, talk to us immediately. We can help you in your time of need.