Was my traffic stop legal?

UPDATED: Oct 1, 2022

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Was my traffic stop legal?

If someone in the know can answer a quick question I would really appreciate it. The officer that stopped me because he said I didn’t stop fully at a stop sign Which is lie because he was behind me at the stop sign and I was aware of his presence so of course I fully stopped. Conveniently they don’t have dash cams in their police vehicles so I can’t prove that, however the officer states specifically in his report of the incident that he

Asked on March 23, 2018 under Criminal Law, Florida


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 4 years ago | Contributor

Are you writing about whether it would be legal to give you a ticket for going through a stop sign, or whether it was legal to stop you after which you are arrested for some other crime they only became aware of due to the stop (e.g. if they smelled marijuana in your car)?
A traffic ticket would be legal: a court will not care if the officer flashed his lights or not, etc. All the court will care about in traffic cases is whether you went through the stop sign or not. You can certainly try to convince the court that you did not and the officer is wrong, but be aware that courts almost always believe the trained, sworn, and neutral (no personal stake in the outcome) police officer over a driver trying to avoid a traffic ticket.
If this stop let to an arrest for some different or other offense (e.g. drugs), then if you can show that the officer lied about the circumstances of the stop (e.g. using the gas station video), that may invalidate the stop and so throw out any evidence obtained during it. The police cannot "make up" a reason for a stop to search you; they need a valid and honest/truthful reason for the stop. In this latter case, if trying to avoid a more serious charge by showing an impropriety in a stop and search, you should retain a criminal defense attorney to help you.

IMPORTANT NOTICE: The Answer(s) provided above are for general information only. The attorney providing the answer was not serving as the attorney for the person submitting the question or in any attorney-client relationship with such person. Laws may vary from state to state, and sometimes change. Tiny variations in the facts, or a fact not set forth in a question, often can change a legal outcome or an attorney's conclusion. Although AttorneyPages.com has verified the attorney was admitted to practice law in at least one jurisdiction, he or she may not be authorized to practice law in the jurisdiction referred to in the question, nor is he or she necessarily experienced in the area of the law involved. Unlike the information in the Answer(s) above, upon which you should NOT rely, for personal advice you can rely upon we suggest you retain an attorney to represent you.

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