May 11, 2012 By Wallin & Klarich

Know your rights in case of an infraction. This case that we debated on Fox News is a great example of an officer abusing the constitutional rights we all have when it comes to traffic stops. In order to make a traffic stop an officer must have probable cause to believe that a violation of some sort took place—whether an infraction, misdemeanor of a felony.

In this case, the officer initially indicated he saw the “trekkie” Mr. Huff’s vehicle swerve within two lanes of the road. When both passengers denied that, he seemed to change his story to stopping the car because it was driving in an are where there was a great deal of gun and drug trafficking. The first excuse for the stop, if true, would have established probable cause. The second did not.

After a lengthy conversation, the officer then told Mr. Huff he was going to search his vehicle apparently because the passenger in the vehicle “looked nervous”. Absent anything more, that does not sufficient legal cause to search a vehicle. The officer, who had a history of this type of behavior, clearly violated the Fourth Amendment rights of the men—rights to be free of unlawful search and seizure.

If you are stopped by an officer, be cooperative, but document to the extent possible everything the officer does and/or requests of you. Remember, as the video here proves, most officers may know general police procedure, but they are not schooled in many of the constitutional requirements of the 4th, 5th and 6th Amendments! When your freedom—on any level-is at stake because of a stop, search and seizure by law enforcement contact the California Criminal Defense Attorneys of Wallin & Klarich at (888) 280-6839…we are experts in dealing with all types of criminal and traffic charges!

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