A police officer cannot pull you over for no reason. The officer must have some reasonable suspicion of criminal activity before he can stop your car. This standard is less than the probable cause required for an arrest but more than “a mere whim, caprice or idle curiosity.” Under Minnesota case law, the basis for a valid vehicle stop is minimal and doesn’t require an actual violation of the traffic laws. Stops have been upheld by the courts for having a license plate wired on to the car, weaving within your lane, evading a police officer who is following behind you, wide turns, and leaving your bright lights on.

If you believe the officer did not have reasonable suspicion of criminal activity to justify the stop of your car, you are entitled to a court hearing to determine the legality of the stop. An experienced criminal defense attorney will file a motion to suppress the evidence based on the grounds of an illegal stop. The officer will need to testify at the hearing and establish an objective basis for the stop of your car. Your lawyer will have an opportunity to cross-examine the police officer and offer testimony from witnesses. If the motion to suppress the evidence is granted by the court, any evidence seized by the police after the car stop cannot be used against you at trial. This would include field sobriety tests, intoxilyzer tests, admissions and confession, and drugs. Without evidence of the crime, the court will dismiss the charges against you based on lack of probable cause to believe you committed a criminal offense.

If you or someone you know has been pulled over for no reason and charged with a crime, you will need an experienced traffice defense attorney to defend your freedom. Call Robert J. Shane for a free initial consultation at (612) 339-1024 or visit his website at www.criminallawyerminnesota for more information on traffic defense.