Georgia Traffic Ticket or Arrested While Driving: Why Were You Pulled Over?July 21, 2011
Generally speaking, law enforcement officers need a reasonable articulable suspicion that criminal activity is going on before they can stop someone to investigate further.
Reasonable Articulable Suspicion means that law enforcement must have more than a hunch that someone is breaking the law and that there is a reasonable suspicion that a law or laws are being broken. The reasonable suspicion can be a number of things, including suspicious behavior, driving infractions, equipment problems or 911 calls.
However, the reasonable articulable suspicion does not have to match what the actual charges are for the arrest. In fact, most drug investigations start with some sort of initial stop that has nothing to do with drugs. For example, it would be nearly impossible to look at a vehicle and have a reasonable articulable suspicion that someone is trafficking marijuana. However, if the driver is speeding or there is an equipment violation such as a broken headlight, tail light, or cracked windshield, then law enforcement would have reasonable articulable suspicion to stop the vehicle.
After interacting with and observing the driver and vehicle, the officer may have futher reasonable articulable suspicion to escalate the stop and search the driver, passengers, and vehicle because of suspicious behavior. A knowledgeable Criminal Defense Attorney in Georgia can help ensure your Constitutional rights have been upheld. It is important to understand that the reasonable articulable suspicion for the initial stop is not the same as probable cause to arrest. The threshold for what constitutes a reasonable suspicion is less than the threshold for what constitutes probable cause.
At Breakfield & Associates, Attorneys, our Georgia Criminal Defense Attorneys welcome any questions on Criminal Defense, GA Traffic Tickets, and Georgia DUI laws. Please Call or Email an experienced Personal Injury Attorney who can help you determine the best course of action. At Breakfield & Associates, Attorneys, we provide you with a free and confidential consultation to discuss your car accident case.
About the authors: John Breakfield and David B. Purvis are Georgia Lawyers with Breakfield & Associates, Attorneys in Gainesville, Georgia and handle various Traffic Ticket, DUI / DWI and Georgia Criminal Defense matters. The law office of Breakfield & Associates, Attorneys can assist clients throughout Georgia including: Hall County (Gainesville, Oakwood GA, Flowery Branch), White County (Cleveland), Barrow County (Auburn, Bethlehem, Braselton, Carl, Statham, Winder), Lumpkin County (Dahlonega), Gwinnett County (Buford, Duluth, Sugar Hill, Lawrenceville), Jackson County (Braselton, Commerce, Hoschton, Jefferson, Pendergrass), Dawson County (Dawsonville), Habersham County (Demorest, Cornelia), Clarke County (Athens) and all of Northeast Georgia.
This article and video should not be considered nor relied upon as legal advice since it is only intended for general overview and informational purposes. Please consult with an attorney on your specific situation in order to determine an appropriate legal course of action.