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  1. #1
    luckygrnsixball is offline Junior Member
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    Probable cause to pull over

    What is the name of your state? IN Does there have to be probable cause for a police officer to pull over a vehicle? I was pulled over on a motorcyle for having no turn signals (which you DO NOT have to have in IN) Therfore I should not have been pulled over, corect? I was given a ticket for having an expired motorcycle endorsement (something you can't tell by riding down the street) So it seems to me as though it was an illegal stop. I am not sure though, need advice before I fight the ticket. By the way, the only thing on the ticket is "no mc endorsement" No mention of WHY I was stopped in the first place.
  2. #2
    CdwJava is online now Senior Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by luckygrnsixball
    Does there have to be probable cause for a police officer to pull over a vehicle?
    No. There must be "reasonable suspicion" (aka "reasonable cause") but the term, "probable cause" is a higher standard generally relating to a belief sufficient to justify an actual arrest. "Reasonable suspicion" requires only the suspicion that criminal activity might be afoot and is a pretty low standard.


    I was pulled over on a motorcyle for having no turn signals (which you DO NOT have to have in IN) Therfore I should not have been pulled over, corect?
    Well ... provided you are correct, did you properly signal for a turn using hand signals? If you did not properly signal then the stop would be just fine. It would also be permissable if there was some other reason for the stop in addition to the turn signal question.


    I was given a ticket for having an expired motorcycle endorsement (something you can't tell by riding down the street) So it seems to me as though it was an illegal stop. I am not sure though, need advice before I fight the ticket. By the way, the only thing on the ticket is "no mc endorsement" No mention of WHY I was stopped in the first place.
    You may just have to go to court and raise the question. It could be that he ran your plate and then your driver's license before the stop. It could also be that he was in error about the turn signal law.

    If, during his testimony, he alleges that the sole reason for the stop was the lack of a lighting device turn signal violation and that it was only AFTER the stop that your endorsement was discovered, then you might have a chance. When it comes time to make YOUR case, you can point out the equipment statute that does not require the turn signals and then point out to the court that the stop was not lawful for that fact alone.

    Your best bet would be to use an attorney. But, you can probably try it yourself.

    Of course, success will depend on the officer having only the lack of a turn signal light to stop you. If he had anything else (like a lack of a proper hand signal for the turn) then you might be toast.

    - Carl
    A Nor Cal Cop Sergeant

    "Make mine a double mocha ...
    And a croissant!"

    Seek justice,
    Love mercy,
    Walk humbly with your God

    -- Courageous, by Casting Crowns ... http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pkM-gDcmJeM
  3. #3
    mdl665 is offline Junior Member
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    Go to the link below. It is very similar to your case, except the driver was let off for DUI based on an unjustified stop.

    [url]http://www.thenewspaper.com/news/05/568.asp[/url]
  4. #4
    hurricane_help is offline Junior Member
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    Even if you were pulled over for failure to signal then you still have a valid argument since you weren't ticketed for that particular offense.
  5. #5
    Orcons is offline Member
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    Not true. They don't have to ticket you for the offense for which they pulled you over. The only issue is whether there was reason to believe you had committed the offense for which they pulled you over. Once they have a valid stop they have discretion to ticket you for nothing or anything you are in violation of.
  6. #6
    hurricane_help is offline Junior Member
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    So an officer can pull you over for speeding and then say "oh my bad you weren't speeding..but now that I've got you pulled over let me see what else I can charge you with?"

    As our supreme court decisions go in these matters I find that very hard to believe.

    Gotta a court case to back that up?
  7. #7
    CdwJava is online now Senior Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by hurricane_help
    So an officer can pull you over for speeding and then say "oh my bad you weren't speeding..but now that I've got you pulled over let me see what else I can charge you with?"

    As our supreme court decisions go in these matters I find that very hard to believe.

    Gotta a court case to back that up?
    That's not what he said.

    What he said was that you can be pulled over for one violation and then not cited for it.

    For instance, if I see a car with a brake light out and stop it then eventually arrest the driver for DUI I do not have to cite the driver for the brake light violation.

    If you were pulled over for speeding and then the officer said you weren't speeding he just wanted to pull you over, then that would be unlawful.

    - Carl
    A Nor Cal Cop Sergeant

    "Make mine a double mocha ...
    And a croissant!"

    Seek justice,
    Love mercy,
    Walk humbly with your God

    -- Courageous, by Casting Crowns ... http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pkM-gDcmJeM
  8. #8
    Orcons is offline Member
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    Another example:

    In MA seat belt violations are not a primary offense which means you can't get pulled over for only not wearing a seat belt, they have to pull you over for something else at which point they can also ticket you for not wearing a seat belt, assuming you aren't.

    The Boston Globe pulled records of traffic citations and found that in some towns 85-90% of the drivers who got tickets were only cited for a seat belt violation. How is that? Simple, cop pulls you over for going a few miles over the limit, sees you aren't wearing a seat belt, gives you a pass on the speeding but tickets you for the seat belt. No one knows why they were doing this, maybe it was to make a statement about the need to wear seat belts or it could be they figure there is less uncertainty, hence less of a defense, to a seat belt violation (you are wearing it or you aren't) than other violations. In any case, it is totally legal.
  9. #9
    CdwJava is online now Senior Member
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    Many agencies use minor traffic offenses as a tool to check drivers for other offenses ... warrants, DUI, drugs, etc. When none are found they justify the stop with a citation rather than a warning. It also serves to act as a record of the stop when/if allegations of racial profiling come in to play.

    And, as you indicated, the seatbelt violation is rarely contested.

    - Carl
    A Nor Cal Cop Sergeant

    "Make mine a double mocha ...
    And a croissant!"

    Seek justice,
    Love mercy,
    Walk humbly with your God

    -- Courageous, by Casting Crowns ... http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pkM-gDcmJeM
  10. #10
    LSCAP is offline Member
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    If I recall correctly;The original case came from a guy with a flower car being pulled over on a "random" stop". The trooper found marijuana on the front seat. Sup Ct threw it out. No cause to stop. Obviously it was a selective inforcement stop.... Picking on flower children.

    Everyone had to stop making random stops.

    Since then most cops write the first ticket to prove the reason for the stop.

    Before your case is called talk to the ADA. If he wont throw it out, get a postponement to get a lawyer.

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