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Probable Cause, a Traffic Stop, and Drug Charges in California

 Posted on April 30, 2021 in Criminal Defense

Santa Clara County criminal defense lawyerOne of the most anxiety-inducing experiences a driver can have is seeing the blue lights flashing behind them, signaling them to pull over. Even a person who is innocent of any wrongdoing can become very nervous and worried that they are in trouble. Unfortunately, for some drivers, being pulled over by a police officer does lead to criminal charges. One of the most common types of cases we handle at our Santa Clara County criminal defense law firm is drug crime cases that resulted from a traffic stop.

Probable Cause

It is important to keep in mind, however, that in order for a police officer to stop and question a driver, they must have probable cause to do so. In the United States, law enforcement is not allowed to just randomly pull vehicles over without a legitimate reason to do so. Something the driver did, or the vehicle needs to have repaired, alerted the officer that there is some kind of violation or crime being committed.

Some of the most common reasons that police officers cite as the reason they stopped a driver who they ultimately charged with a drug offense include:

·       Traffic violation: The driver committed a traffic violation, such as speeding, failing to stop at a stop sign, or the vehicle has a light out. If the officer notices the driver has slurred speech or otherwise appears impaired, they will investigate further.

·       Bad driving: The officer noticed the vehicle driving too slowly, weaving in and out of traffic, driving the wrong way, or some other erratic driving. These are all signs that a driver may be under the influence of drugs or alcohol.

·       Vehicle accident: In the majority of vehicle accidents, police are called to the scene. One of the duties the officer has is to determine what the cause of the accident was. In order to make that determination, the officer will examine the behaviors of any drivers involved in the crash for signs of intoxication.

Contact a Gilroy Drug Crimes Attorney Today

If you have been arrested and charged with a drug crime, it is important to examine all the legal options you have in your case. At the Fuller Law Firm, we work diligently to ensure our clients get the best possible defense based on the circumstances of their case. If your arrest was the result of a traffic stop, our legal team will examine the details of your arrest to determine if there was probable cause for the stop or if there was any violation of your rights. To learn more, call 408-234-7563 to schedule a free consultation with a seasoned Palo Alto defense attorney and find out how we can help.




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