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When Can Police Stop a Vehicle?

Cop giving ticket

It is well established that when a police officer stops a vehicle, the stop is a seizure within the meaning of the Fourth Amendment. The law considers the driver and all passengers “seized” during the stop.

An officer is permitted to stop a vehicle to investigate if he or she has an articulable reasonable suspicion that the vehicle is subject to seizure or a person in the vehicle has committed, is committing, or is about to commit a crime.

In other words, an officer cannot randomly stop a vehicle to see if a crime has been, is being, or may be committed. The officer has to identify specific facts to create a reasonable suspicion of criminal activity. A hunch is not enough.

Over the years, The Moore Law Firm has had great success in challenging vehicle stops, which has led to dismissals, reduced charges, and other favorable results.