Georgia – February 9, 2021

Georgia police must have reasonable suspicion, or probable cause to believe that a traffic offense, or other violation of the law occurred when pulling someone over. If they make a traffic stop without a valid legal reason, any subsequent charges stemming from that stop, such as discovered drugs, might be dismissed, and the person stopped may be able to bring a civil lawsuit against the police. A police officer must have visual evidence needed to conduct a search, or go through the procedures of obtaining a search warrant. Even when an officer has a legitimate reason for pulling someone over, there can still be legal issues with how the officer conducted a traffic stop. The detention should not be more invasive, or time-consuming than reasonably necessary to complete the traffic stop. Victims who have been illegally stopped should talk to a police brutality attorney to see if they have a cause for civil action against the police, and department.

Civil rights violation.

There most common exceptions to the 4th Amendment right regarding search and seizure activity include instances: 1) when someone is caught in the act of committing a crime, or there is probable cause; and 2) during a pat down search, when an officer believes that a person is behaving in a suspicious manner to alert them to an ongoing, or future criminal act.  If an encounter becomes violent and an individual tries to defend themselves, they should contact a criminal defense attorney to guide their legal actions.

Police and the 4th Amendment.

A warrant is required before police can search an area, but there are daily exceptions to the practice of obtaining a warrant in communities nationwide.  Police can search automobiles without warrants, they can detain people on the street without them “stop and frisk,” and they can always search, or seize in an emergency without going to a judge.  The arguable idea here is “in an emergency” whereby these standards need to be placed out in front of and judged in a court of law.  An attorney can assist in a determination of a civil rights violations in Georgia traffic stops.

Police are reaching over the fine line of the 4th Amendment when they:

  1. Claim to hear a noise, or someone reports a noise, and they conduct a search on private property.
  2. Make a person get out of the car during a traffic stop and frisk them if they have not done anything suspicious. If they have a cell phone in a pocket that information could be illegally viewed and if there is incriminating evidence, a police officer may then expand a search.
  3. Searching a car during a traffic stop because of suspicious driver movements, or due to a bias-based profiling stop
  4. Entering someone’s home who may not be familiar with the law and conducting a search without permission because the person just let them in the door because of the badge.

Hire an attorney.

When individuals are victimized by illegal search and seizure activity after a traffic stop, they should contact an experienced police brutality attorney to review their case for a possible legal claim against the officer, or the department.


Sources.

https://www.law.cornell.edu/constitution/fourth_amendment

https://dps.georgia.gov/ask-us/resources/georgia-traffic-codes