Illegal traffic stop/ aggravated unlicensed operation 3rd

I passed a few vehicles and a few
miles down the road a sheriff was
waiting for me. He did not witness
me violating any traffic laws but
still pulled me over with the only
reason being that one of the
civilian cars I passed called the
sheriff saying I was speeding. I
did not admit to it, he proceeded
to run my license and arrested me
for auo 3rd after stopping me for a
violation that he did not witness
himself. Was he legally allowed to
pull me over simply from hearsay
and can I get my auo 3rd dropped if
it was an illegal traffic stop?

Asked on January 2, 2019 under Criminal Law, New York


M.D., Member, California and New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 2 years ago | Contributor

In fact, this stop was lawful. So long as the officer had reasonable belief that there was a violation, this constitutes probable cause. Accordingly, since the tip came from a seemingly credible witness, the officer was in effect under a duty to persue the matter in the interests of public safety. Accordingly, your subsequent arrest was legal.

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 2 years ago | Contributor

Unfortunately, it was a legal stop. All a law enforcement officer needs for a stop is "probable cause"--some reasonable grounds to suspect there was a violation. A credible-seeming tip from another driver can provide that probable cause, the way police can get search warrants on witness tips or testimony without the officer seeing anything personally.

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