Can an Officer Just Stop You for Any Reason?

By: Wallin & Klarich

Comments from a Traffic Ticket and Criminal Defense Attorney

Officers may stop and detain a vehicle upon reasonable suspicion of any traffic offense, no matter how minor the offense. The scope of the initial traffic detention will depend on the reason for the initial stop, as well as the facts developed during the stop. A court will always look first at the reason for the stop.

The traffic detention must last no longer than necessary to resolve the suspected traffic violation, either by warning, citation, or upon hearing an explanation from driver. (Florida v. Royer, 460 U.4. 491, 1983). In addition, the detention and investigation must be reasonably related to the initial reason for the stop, unless other factors support additional reasonable suspicion. (United States v. Gill, 204 F.3d 1347, 11th Cir.) Further detention must be supported by reasonable suspicion of more serious criminal activity (United States v. Davis, 430 F.3d 345, 6th Cir., 2005).

If the reason for the stop or the length and/or scope of the traffic detention was not lawful, all evidence obtained during the stop will likely be suppressed. To ensure such unconstitutional evidence is not admitted into evidence contact the experienced Southern California criminal defense attorneys from Wallin & Klarich for a consultation at 1-888-280-6839. Also, visit us online at to learn more about your case and what can be done.

Posted In: Criminal Defense