Was I stopped illegally and is it wise to fight it in court?

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Was I stopped illegally and is it wise to fight it in court?

I was driving home and I stopped and arrested for driving on a suspended license. The reason the officer pulled me over was because she claimed that I almost hit her a “few months back” while she was making an arrest and she noticed my car while I was driving today. I live in a fairly big town to and I do not recall this event whatsoever and I know it’s a lie (I asked for videotape of this incident). I understand that I was wrong for driving under suspension but police must have reasonable suspicion/cause to pull you over to make a traffic stop. I don’t believe a legitimate reason was given.

Asked on August 30, 2012 under Criminal Law, Iowa

Answers:

B.H.F., Member, Texas State Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 8 years ago | Contributor

An officer can detain or arrest someone for an "on view" offense.  However, if she stopped you for an offense that you committed several months ago, then she would have been required to obtain a warrant and then arrest you on the basis of that warrant.  Based on the facts that you describe, you would have a basis for suppressing the stop and subsequent charge.  You still may to have a criminal defense attorney review the offense report and see if any exceptions are apparent in the report before you file the motion to suppress.  If there is an exception, then you could be wasting a plea bargaining opportunity as some prosecutors will cut off plea bargaining after pre-trial motions to suppress.


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