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Regardless what a Florida patrolman
pulls me over for, does he have to site
me for what he initially pulled me over
for? If not any other charge can be
Asked on February 17, 2019 under Criminal Law, Florida
SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney
Answered 2 years ago | Contributor
No, he does not have to cite you for what he originally pulled you over for, and a failure to cite you for that offense does not invalidate the stop or other charges. The police have discretion in which charges they cite or tickets they write, and sometimes drop lesser offenses after a stop if there are many or more serious ones, due to either trying to cut the driver some small break or because given the other offense(s), the lesser one(s) are not even worth taking action on.
That said, the initial stop cannot be a pretext or excuse to pull you over: there must have been a valid reason to stop you in the first place. For example: say you were pulled over for speeding but the officer then found drugs in the car--if you were speeding, the stop, the search, the evidence of drugs, etc. are all still valid, even if he did not write a speeding ticket. But if you were not speeding and he pulled you over because you were, say, a young minority male in an expensive car, the stop, and therefore anything during as a result of it, would be invalid.