They pulled me over for what? When traffic stops become criminal cases
Often times, we find that many criminal cases such as DUI or driving with a suspended license stem from minor traffic stops for seemingly unrelated issues. Commonly, drivers get pulled over for reasons such as driving without a seatbelt, speeding, broken tail lights or break lights, or driving erratically, among other reasons, only to be charged with more serious crimes.
According to Florida law, if a police officer pulls over a driver for a minor traffic infraction (as long as they have probable cause to do so), then the evidence obtained afterwards from the stop may be admissible in court. This means that an officer could suspect you of driving under the influence if you are swerving in and out of your lane, pull you over, and administer a field sobriety test which, if lawfully administered, would be admissible in court.
An officer could also detain the driver or passenger(s) if they have reasonable suspicion that criminal activity is ongoing. After making contact with the driver for the traffic violation, he or she may have reason to detect that the driver is involved in suspicious criminal activity, and may further investigate this suspicion. All it takes is one driver or passenger not wearing their seatbelt to be pulled over!
The bottom line is that you should NEVER drink and drive, and obey every traffic law to avoid being pulled over in the first place. Always remember to buckle your seatbelt, obey the speed limit, and make sure that your vehicle is fully functioning and your registration is up to date to avoid arousing suspicion. If you do get pulled over and charged with a criminal offense, contact a Florida criminal defense attorney as soon as possible to discuss your case. The sooner you obtain representation, the better your outlook is.
In addition to DUI and other criminal defense issues, our firm also takes on cases involving divorce, custody battles, relocations, domestic violence injunctions, will and probate, personal injury, medical malpractice, and wrongful death cases. While our main office is in Gainesville, we also handle family law and criminal defense matters through our satellite offices in Ocala, Chiefland, Lake City, and Palatka, and we accept probate cases statewide on a case-by-case basis.
For help with your legal issue, contact the Law Offices of Stephen K. Miller for a free phone consultation at (866) 496-8752 or via email at Info@ForYourLaw.com
BY: Monica Perez-McMillen, Attorney at Law
February 11, 2013