If you are a driver in Georgia, you may be wondering when police officers have the legal right to pull you over. Some offenses that can lead to you getting pulled over may seem pretty obvious. For example, hitting another car or driving erratically is a clear reason for police officers to stop you. On the other hand, there are many reasons that might not be quite so obvious. Can a relatively minor offense still result in the police pulling you over?
If you are dealing with a traffic violation, it makes sense to team up with an experienced attorney. Depending on the severity of your traffic offense, you may be facing significant fines. There are situations in which an attorney may be able to reduce or even eliminate these legal consequences. For example, the police officer in question may have unlawfully pulled you over in the first place.
Officers Can Pull You Over for Relatively Minor Infractions
While there are strict rules for when an officer can pull you over, they can still take action if you have committed a relatively minor traffic violation. For example, Georgia’s primary seatbelt laws mean that the police can pull you over for not wearing a seatbelt. A “primary offense” is a violation that can result in a traffic stop, while a “secondary offense” is a violation for which you cannot be pulled over by itself. Many other states make wearing a seatbelt a secondary offense, which means that you cannot be pulled over for violating this law unless you have also committed a primary offense.
Reasonable Articulable Suspicion of Criminal Activity
As long as a police officer in Georgia believes that you have committed a crime, they are allowed to pull you over. This means that they could merely suspect you were driving without a seatbelt, and they would still be allowed to pull you over. Once they pull you over and see that you are in fact wearing a seatbelt, they could then investigate you further. For example, they could decide to search your car if they smell alcohol on your breath.
This can then lead to the discovery of further traffic violations, such as an open alcohol container. These police actions can be heavily scrutinized by a skilled attorney. If it is obvious that they had no business pulling you over in the first place, then you stand a much greater chance of a positive legal outcome. In some cases, officers may state that they suspected you of committing a crime without any real evidence to back it up.
Enlist the Help of a Qualified, Experienced Attorney Today
If you have been searching the Georgia area for an attorney who can help you with your traffic offense, look no further than Lankford & Moore Law. We have considerable experience with a wide range of traffic offenses, and we can mitigate any legal consequences you may be facing. It does not make sense to simply accept these penalties without putting up a legal fight, especially if you were stopped unlawfully by police officers. Reach out today, book your consultation, and take your first steps toward justice.