When can police officers pull you over?

On Behalf of | Oct 25, 2022 | Traffic Violations

Police officers conduct traffic stops to try to ensure the streets stay safe. They can’t just pull people over for no reason. Instead, they need to have reasonable suspicion or see something that violates Florida’s motor vehicle code

Without a proper reason to pull someone over, the traffic stop will likely be invalid. 

What is reasonable suspicion for a traffic stop?

Reasonable suspicion means that a reasonable person would conclude that there’s likely a law being broken, that one was already broken or that one will be broken. Police officers may see signs of drunk driving or another issue, which would be considered reasonable suspicion. Some reasons an officer might conduct a traffic stop include:

  • Having a broken taillight or brake light
  • Failing to use headlights when required
  • Swerving between lanes or off the road
  • Driving too slow or too fast for the road or the weather 
  • Failing to obey traffic signals or signs
  • Making illegal turns or not using a turn signal
  • Stopping in the middle of the road or without reason

Once an officer stops a vehicle, they will try to determine what’s going on. They may give the driver a warning or write a ticket. In some cases, such as when a driver is impaired, they will conduct an arrest. They must have probable cause, which means there’s evidence of a crime, to arrest a person.

If you’re pulled over and get a ticket or are arrested, you need to ensure you know your rights. Working with someone who understands the ins and outs of these matters is crucial. Sometimes, fighting even seemingly simple tickets is in your best interests.