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DUI » Traffic Stop » Probable Cause

What is Probable Cause to Perform a Traffic Stop?

Despite popular belief, a law enforcement officer is not able to pull over whoever that they feel like. There are very specific guidelines that govern the actions of police officers and if they do not abide by them, their arrest could be considered unlawful and therefore invalid. The term "probable cause" refers to the fact that all police officers must have legal grounds to make an arrest or have reason to suspect that they were committing a crime.

In the terms of traffic stops, there must be a reason to pull over a driver on the road. Police cannot state that they had a "hunch" and it is not enough to see a person pulling out of a bar parking lot. There must be concrete evidence that the driver in question was actually committing a crime for the police to perform the traffic stop. Common grounds for probable cause typically involve traffic violations such as:

  • Speeding above the posted limit;
  • Driving with broken lights;
  • Having unrepaired body damage;
  • Failing to use turn signals;
  • Unsafe lane changes;
  • Expired license plates;
  • Having too loud of an exhaust; and
  • Failing to abuse by all traffic signs

If they observed something of this nature, they would have lawful grounds to perform a traffic stop. If, however, they did fabricate an excuse to perform the DUI traffic stop, you could challenge the arrest and could work to get the charges dismissed or the penalties greatly reduced.

Contact our Tampa defense firm today!

When you are dealing with the consequences of a DUI-related arrest, it is highly encouraged that you get the involvement of the premier DUI defense firm of Thomas & Paulk. They are well-versed in DUI law and have shown throughout the years that they can handle even the most complex of cases. Should you choose to work with a Tampa defense attorney from their legal team, you will be able to enjoy the difference that an experienced lawyer can make. They have a no fail attitude and will above and beyond in their efforts to help you protect your legal rights. Give them a call today if you would like to learn more about how they will be able to protect your legal rights.

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