Can an Officer Pull Me Over for No Reason?

  I recently represented a lady on her second accusation of a DUI.  The first accusation she plead guilty.  I appealed it for her because there was no evidence that this woman was impaired to any degree.  The officer arrested her because she went through a red/yellow light and smelled alcohol on her.  That was it.  Case was reduced to red light violation.  This second accusation was interesting.  The officers get a dispatch call that two people are arguing in her front yard.  The police show up and see a man yell something at a woman.  The woman yells something back.  Officers could not identify what the words were.  The woman started her car and drove away.  The police chased her down and pulled her over.

Here is where the problem began.  Why did the officer’s have a reason to pull her over? Yelling is not a crime.  The officers have a right to investigate but do not have a right to stop and seize a person without a reasonable suspicion that a crime has occurred.  If a report of an argument was the only reason to pull someone over, then every attorney in town should be seized–if that was against the law.

We took our case to the judge to ask for a dismissal based on the fact that there was no reason for the officer’s to pull the woman over. 

A hearing was held and the officers could not describe any criminal conduct.  The officers could not describe or articulate any fact that led them to believe that the woman committed a crime.  In fact, while the officer’s followed her in her car, they could not describe any traffic violation.  The judge dismissed the case.

An officer has to have a reason to pull a citizen over.  The officer must be able to articulate facts that lead them to believe that a crime was committed or about to be committed and that the person did it.  It can be something very simple like a tail light out or running a stop sign. 

Points to remember when pulled over:

  • don’t be afraid to question the officer why you were pulled over.
  • don’t be afraid to ask to see the radar reading. (officer does not have to show, but it is good to ask)
  • don’t be afraid to exercise your right to remain silent.  (just identifying information to be given)
  • don’t be afraid to ask for a lawyer.
  • don’t be afraid to take your case to a judge for his opinion.
  • Always be courteous.
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Posted in Utah DUI Laws
One comment on “Can an Officer Pull Me Over for No Reason?
  1. Jay says:

    I was in a stick shift car and stopped at a red light, while there I may have let off the brake for a second not too sure, but after it was green and I was moving I was puled over and while stopping and parked the officer saw I had break lights and I first asked why I was stopped before anything and the cop saw he was wrong about the lights not working, but still said he wanted ID and took the vin number saying that “Temp tags are very common among G rides” meaning stolen cars, he was a undercover cop in a unusual suv. But turns out my DL. was suspended and dressing in baggy cloths and him saying G ride I know I was profiled, but the question is if a officer pulls you over for a problem that does not exist can you get off on a charge it leads you to? Also after I pointed out the lights were fine and I was sure because it checked before leaveing the lot. (It was a rental from a mechanic shop that had our car so I had inspected it) he than said my temp tags were not visible enough, the back window was not tented or to slanted but he said the writing was not dark enough. Now the DMV writes that, they do not hand you a blank temp tag you can write any date on. So he also gives me a ticket for No Insurance even though I got the paper with the date on it saying its covered. Now tomorrow I will double check that it is still effective like it says it is but if not I can go after the company for giving a uninsured car to me without even asking if I had a DL.? I need to do something because thats about $1000.00 in tickets for just those 2 charges, and I been off the road for 2 years due to speeding (raceing) tickets and was just getting close to getting back on the road soon until today

    Like

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