Most traffic stops in Georgia or elsewhere don’t result in criminal charges, but because they’re conducted by the police, the constitutional protections most commonly cited in criminal cases still apply. Most importantly, this means that the police must have had reasonable suspicion or probable cause to believe that a traffic offense or other violation of the law occurred. If they make a traffic stop without a valid legal reason, any subsequent charges that arose out of that stop, such as discovered drugs, must usually be dismissed, and the person stopped may be able to bring a civil lawsuit against the police.
What do I do if I’m stopped illegally?
Never try to argue your case on the side of the road. Doing so frequently results in additional charges that could mean going to jail instead of receiving a ticket. Remain calm, provide the officer with your paperwork when asked, and politely refuse to answer additional questions. Protect your rights by making it clear that you aren’t consenting to any searches. After the officer leaves, contact our illegal traffic stop lawyers.
The police searched my car. Now what?
If the police conducted an illegal traffic stop and found contraband, it falls under a legal principle called the exclusionary rule. This rule is designed to protect against illegal searches and seizures by making any evidence found as a result of the illegal search or seizure inadmissible. If the police wouldn’t have found the contraband without the illegal traffic stop, the contraband can’t be used as evidence against you and any related charges usually must be dropped.
Can I sue for an illegal traffic stop in Georgia?
An illegal traffic stop is considered to be a civil rights violation. In most cases the courts will consider an illegal traffic stop to be a mistake that shouldn’t result in penalties against the police beyond the exclusion of evidence or dismissal of charges. For egregious violations, such as racial profiling or severe misconduct by the police at the roadside, a Georgia illegal traffic stops attorney can help you bring a civil rights lawsuit against the police department and local government.
Hawkins Spizman Fortas, experienced Georgia traffic defense attorneys, can assist in protecting your rights when you’ve been issued a violation in the event of an illegal traffic stop. Call 404-933-1153 today for a FREE attorney consultation.