Mistakes Police Can Make
- Stopping a vehicle on the basis of an anonymous call. An officer cannot rely on a phone call to stop your vehicle unless he has a name and address for the caller and knows the caller from previous encounters. The officer must also observe something wrong with your behavior.
- Following a driver into his residence without an invitation or without enough information to justify the entry. Your home is protected under the Constitution’s Fourth Amendment.
- Basing an arrest on the driver’s statements alone. The officer must have independent evidence to corroborate such statements. This situation often arises when he has not seen you in physical control of your car.
- Detaining a driver longer than is reasonable to investigate. The Constitution does not allow officers to hold you without limit.
- Stopping a vehicle without an articulable suspicion. An officer cannot stop you just because he thinks you are suspicious.
- Stopping a vehicle because it stops in the middle of the street or is driving too slowly. Unless there is a specific traffic ordinance you are violating, such as impeding traffic, it is quite likely unlawful for an officer to stop you.
- Weaving within a lane. The statute only requires you to drive as nearly straight as is practical within a single lane. However, some cases hold that one weave onto the shoulder is reason for a stop.
- Stopping a vehicle based on a misperceived violation of a law. The officer must be right about his interpretation of the law.
- Failing to follow the rules of the DHHS and the breath test operation manual. These failures may invalidate any alcohol testing.
- Stopping a person at an improper roadblock. There are many guidelines that must be followed to validate a roadblock stop.
- Stopping a vehicle just to check the driver’s license and registration unless your license is revoked. He must have seen an actual traffic violation or have an articulable suspicion of a crime.
- Stopping a vehicle without being able to identify it as the one actually committing a traffic infraction. Officers must be able to convince the Court that they stopped the right car.
- Stopping a vehicle for no reason at all. It's done. Officers sometimes do not show up in Court on these.
- Blocking a vehicle's exit without justification. Officers may not restrict a driver’s freedom to leave without a reason.