Can the police stop you without a reason?

On Behalf of | Dec 7, 2020 | Criminal Defense

Traveling in Texarcana in your car is fairly routine, but getting pulled over by the police is not. You may not believe you have done anything to warrant the stop, so you may want to pay attention when the officer explains why. 

The police must follow strict protocol to initiate a traffic stop. If the officer proceeds through the stop, and you wind up facing criminal charges for something, you may want to recount the steps the officer took. Law enforcement must observe you commit a crime or have a reasonable suspicion that you may have. Without this, a traffic stop may result in a very different outcome. 

The police must believe a crime occurred

Reasonable suspicion may provide the grounds for a stop. It means that the officer must believe that a crime occurred. In the case of DWI stops, the police may pull you over because of the erratic way you are driving. They may have a reasonable suspicion you are under the influence, but they cannot stop you without having witnessed something occur. If you find yourself driving after a few alcoholic beverages, the police likely will cite a traffic violation as the reason they stopped you. 

An unlawful stop results in no charges

You may find yourself facing possession or DWI charges after a traffic stop. However, if the details of the stop are not lawful, everything that occurred during the stop becomes invalid. This means all evidence of your crime becomes invalid in the case against you. Without the evidence gathered at the scene, it is likely the state does not have a case to prosecute you. 

The police do not always have a lawful reason for stopping your vehicle. If that is the case, you may not land in hot water.