When the police stop a driver, most of the time the driver receives a warning or a ticket. In some cases, a simple traffic stop can lead to the driver's arrest. When this happens, the driver will want to make sure they speak with a lawyer quickly. The lawyer will look into how the stop was conducted and what can be done about the charges.
Reason to Stop a Vehicle
The police cannot just pull over a vehicle because they don't like the driver, because they want to randomly check for drugs, or because the driver was in an area known for drugs. They must have a reason to stop any vehicle. This does not mean that the driver can continue going if they believe the police don't have a reason to stop them. It simply means that, for evidence to be admissible, there has to be a reason the driver was stopped in the first place. Lawyers like those at Wallin & Klarich will look into this whenever they have a client arrested because of drugs in their vehicle.
Permission to Search a Vehicle
The driver of the vehicle may give the police permission to search their vehicle because they're confident there is nothing inside. This is never a good idea. A criminal defense lawyer will, instead, recommend that the driver refuse any search. If the police then search the vehicle and they do find something, the police will need to provide the reason they believed the vehicle needed to be searched. If they cannot do this, the evidence may not be admissible in court.
Probable Cause to Search a Vehicle
If the officer does not have permission to search the vehicle, they need probable cause. This means they have reason to believe there is something illegal in the vehicle. Probable cause can be spotting paraphernalia when they speak with the driver or because they saw the driver try to hide something before pulling over. The best criminal lawyers will look into the probable cause stated by the officers carefully to see if it can be argued that the police did not actually have probable cause.
If you are stopped by the police, it's important to pull over quickly and be as polite as possible. Never offer permission to search the vehicle so if there is anything found your lawyer may be able to have it dismissed. If you are stopped and your vehicle searched, and you're arrested as a result, speak with one of the Riverside Criminal Lawyers to get help immediately.