Reasonable suspicion, otherwise known as reasonable articulable suspicion, is one of the most important clauses in all of traffic law. Why? Because according to the law, a police officer cannot pull you over unless the officer has reasonable suspicion of criminal activity.
The rule originates from the case of Terry vs. Ohio and such stops are sometimes referred to as a Terry stop. A police officer who pulls you over can list reasonable suspicion for a wide variety of behaviors. Under Minnesota DWI law, the following offenses can be used to pull over a motorist:
* Crossing the center lane or fog lines
* Equipment violations
* Lack of signaling
* Driving with burnt out headlight
* A license plate that is not illuminated
* Broken or non-working taillights
* Reckless driving
* Failure to signal
* Weaving inside the same lane
* Operation of a vehicle with a flat tire
If you have a case that involves a traffic stop, you and your attorney can challenge the basis of the stop to show the court that the officer did not have reasonable suspicion to pull you over.
Many people get reasonable suspicion confused with probable cause. But the two are very different. An officer needs reasonable suspicion to pull over your vehicle but probable cause is required to arrest a motorist for DWI or another crime.
If your case began with a traffic stop, it is imperative that you seek experienced legal counsel to review the validity of that stop. Contact Attorney Eric J. Olson for vigorous defense and unrivaled results.