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What Is Reasonable Suspicion For A Traffic Stop In Monroe?

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Most drivers in Monroe have seen a police car during their travels at one point or another. It is necessary to have police on the streets that can patrol for traffic violations and criminal offenses. Still for some, the sight of a patrol car is intimidating. Police officers cannot pull you over without reason on the road. To make a traffic stop valid, they must first show that they had reasonable suspicion.

Unfortunately, in their overeagerness to issue tickets and pursue criminal charges, police officers sometimes pull people over without reasonable suspicion. So, what is reasonable suspicion for a traffic stop in Monroe?

What is Reasonable Suspicion?

Under the standard of reasonable suspicion, police officers can temporarily detain an individual to conduct a brief investigation or for traffic purposes. To do so, the police officer must have a reasonable suspicion that the individual has committed a crime. Some of the behavior that may give law enforcement reasonable suspicion for a traffic stop are as follows:

  • Driving down the line dividing traffic
  • Swerving, particularly without reason
  • Driving far beneath or far over the speed limit
  • Turning illegally
  • Failing to brake or braking frequently without reason
  • Stopping in the middle of a lane without reason

When an officer observes the above reasonably suspicious behavior, they may pull you over and ask you to submit to DUI tests. Other instances in which an officer can pull you over include if you have a broken taillight and other minor traffic infractions.

What Happens when an Officer Does Not Have Reasonable Suspicion?

Again, while law enforcement must have reasonable suspicion to pull you over, they do not always meet this standard. Once they have pulled you over, they may even go one step further and try to conduct an illegal search and seizure. You may think that if they find evidence during this search, such as marijuana you did not know your friend left in your car, the situation is hopeless. Fortunately, it is not.

When law enforcement does not have reasonable suspicion to pull you over but they do anyway, it is important to contact a Monroe criminal defense lawyer. An attorney will obtain important evidence to show there was no traffic violation and therefore, no reasonable suspicion. That evidence often includes video footage from either the officer’s body cam or their patrol car.

After obtaining evidence proving there was no reasonable suspicion, an attorney will file a motion to suppress. If successful, this motion will disallow any evidence obtained from the stop, or from an illegal search, to be suppressed, so it cannot be used against you. Without evidence, the court may dismiss your case or the prosecution may drop the charges due to the lack of evidence.

Call Our Criminal Defense Lawyer in Monroe Today

You may think being pulled over and charged with a crime is a hopeless situation, but our Monroe criminal defense lawyer knows it is not. At Whiddon Criminal Defense, our Monroe criminal defense lawyer knows how to get the evidence against you thrown out, or challenge it in court, so you have the best chance of beating the charges. Call us now at 318-387-2776 or reach out to us online to schedule a consultation.

Sources:

legis.la.gov/Legis/Law.aspx?d=78751

law.cornell.edu/wex/fourth_amendment

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