In order for a police officer to serve as a protector of their community, they are responsible for carrying out certain tasks to prevent crime from happening and stop it if it already has. These tasks include questioning suspicious individuals, conducting routine traffic stops, responding to calls, and even making visits to homes. While many officers of the law have excelled in their role and helped reduce the crime rate in the city in which they serve, others have only contributed to increasing it.
The fact is, when an officer violates his/her department’s policies and/or the law, they become criminals themselves, although many get by without ever being recognized as one. This, in turn, causes the crime rate to rise. One common violation police officers are often guilty of is stopping vehicles with no valid reason. In order for a police officer to pull a vehicle over, they must have probable cause or a legitimate reason for stopping you. Examples of what might constitute as a valid reason for pulling a vehicle over would include:
- You were breaking one or more traffic laws (i.e you were speeding, driving recklessly, ran a red light, failed to stop completely at a stop sign, etc.)
- If your vehicle fits the description of one that was involved in a crime that occurred, the officer may be able to use this as their probable cause for pulling you over.
- You were showing signs of impairment. This might include swerving into other lanes, driving on the wrong side of the road, accelerating for no reason, etc.
Without probable cause or a reason for pulling you over, the traffic stop would then be considered unlawful.
What should I do if I believe a police officer in Charlotte County, FL pulled me over for no reason?
There are a few things you need to understand if you believe you are the victim of an unlawful traffic stop. The first is that if the stop led to you being harassed, mistreated, or physically harmed, you have the right to hire a Charlotte County, FL police brutality attorney who can help you file a lawsuit against the officer who displayed the misconduct. The next thing you need to understand is that if the stop led to the officer arresting you for a crime such as possession of marijuana, yet they pulled you over simply because they wanted to, you are protected by the Fourth Amendment.
The Fourth Amendment protects individuals from unreasonable searches and seizures and the Exclusionary Rule prevents the officer from using the drugs they recovered from the unlawful stop as evidence in your case. Now, because most individuals are unaware of what their legal rights are along with what laws protect them from being victimized from officers who fail to abide by the rules, it is always recommended that if an officer harassed you, humiliated you, or charged you with a crime you didn’t commit, you should hire a police brutality lawyer.
With that said, if you are someone who considers themselves a victim of police misconduct and are looking to seek justice and possibly even recover damages for what the officer put you through, contact USAttorneys.com today. We will gladly connect you with an experienced attorney in Charlotte County who can provide you with the legal assistance you will need to accomplish this.