August 6, 2009 By Wallin & Klarich

Trained Perspectives From a Criminal Defense Attorney

The pertextual rule of UNITED STATES v. WHREN (Whren v. United States, 517 U.S. 806, 1996) allows an officer to stop a vehicle any time the officer has reasonable suspicion of a violation, even if the officer has hopes or intentions of finding evidence of a more serious crime.

The WHREN decision did not create an unlimited pretextual rule. An officer may never base a traffic stop or any other detention solely on the race or ethnicity of a person (United States v. Brigononi-Ponce, 422 U.S. 873, 1975). A stop primarily based on the subject’s race, national origin, or ethnicity would violate the Fourteenth Amendment Equal Protection Clause (WHREN).

Understanding the complexities surrounding the validity of a police stop requires great knowledge and experience.

Wallin & Klarich is a large California Law Firm, with over 30 years of experience. Wallin & Klarich is centrally located in Orange County, California, with offices throughout Southern California. The firm boasts an AV rating from Martin Dale Hubble, the highest rating any law practice can obtain.

Contact a skilled Orange County criminal defense attorney from Wallin & Klarich for a free consultation at 1-888-280-6839. Also, visit us online at to learn more about your case and what can be done.

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