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"Is it true that a police officer doesn't need probable cause anymore, only probable suspicion to pullover and search?

Strasburg, VA |

I never gave consent or permission for anything that happened, the officer did what he pleased and however he wanted, including putting his hands on my fiance while im in handcuffs in the back of his vehicle because a 3 gram baggie of marijuana was forcibly taken out of my back pocket, meanwhile the whole reason for the traffic stop was an inspection sticker? also they demanded i goto the hospital and take a bloodtest and gave me no other options

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Attorney answers 3




The legal standard for police to conduct a traffic stop is whether there is reasonable suspicion that criminal activity has happened or is happening. A violatioin of a traffic offense is enough for a police officer to conduct a traffic stop and detain the occupants to conduct an investigation into the suspected crimimal activity. Probable cause, consent, or a warrant is necessary to conduct a search of the vehicle. However, the officer may "pat down" a citizen for safety to determine whether he/she is armed. Police cannot automatically search a citizen who is not under arrest and where there is no reason to believe he/she is armed. The police may search a person incident to a lawful arrest. If the police searched your back pack without probable cause or a warrant, you have may have a good defense.


On the facts you described:

Expired safety sticker is grounds for a stop.
The stop is grounds for the search.
The evidence recovered is grounds for charges.

If you have been charged, contact a criminal defense attorney immediately.

READ THIS BEFORE CALLING OR EMAILING ME: I am licensed to practice before the state and federal courts in Virginia. We have not established an attorney-client relationship unless we have a signed representation agreement and you have paid me. I give a 100% effort to get you on the right track with your issue. Sometimes that means legal educational information, sometimes that means counseling and non-legal guidance. You should speak with an attorney to whom you have provided all the facts, before you take steps that may impact your legal rights. I am not obligated to answer subsequent emails or phone calls unless you have hired me. I wish you the best of luck with your situation.

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