February 28, 2009 By Wallin & Klarich

Police Cannot Pull You Over Just for Your Temporary Operating Permit

Police officers need probable cause in order to pull motorists over. What this means is that they must have probable cause to believe that a motorist performed a traffic violation. Over the years, police officers have come up with just about any excuse to justify pulling motorists over, in order to satisfy this probable cause requirement. One of their favorites has been that they have had a hunch that a temporary operating permit on a vehicle may be fraudulent, and thus they have probable cause to pull a vehicle over.

You probably have seen new cars being operated with a temporary operating permit displayed, in lieu of license plates. This is commonly done when a new car is just purchased. A new case just came out in California that says police officers cannot pull motorists over simply because they believe that such temporary operating permits are often fraudulent. This belief alone does not satisfy the probable cause requirement, as an officer must have reasonable suspicion that a particular permit in invalid in order to justify such a stop. In other words, an officer must have some prior knowledge or information that a permit is invalid and not just base their stop on the idea that several permits are often invalid and so any time they see a car with such a permit displayed they can pull it over.
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It is important to know your rights and important to keep this case in mind any time you or a loved one is pulled over with one of these permits displayed. Wallin and Klarich closely monitors new case law such as this case every month.
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Wallin and Klarich has been in the business of helping people in their time of need with their criminal matters for over 30 years and we would like to help you with yours! Call the California traffic lawyers at Wallin and Klarich today if you or a loved one needs help with any probable cause issue or for any other criminal matter.

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