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Does weaving within lanes constitute probable cause to pull someone over?

San Diego, CA |

Is a police officer able to pull you over for weaving even if it is within your own lane?

Attorney Answers 7

  1. Yes.

    No legal advice here. READ THIS BEFORE you contact me! My responses to questions on Avvo are never intended as legal advice and must not be relied upon as if they were legal advice. I give legal advice ONLY in the course of a formal attorney-client relationship. Exchange of information through Avvo's Questions forum does not establish an attorney-client relationship with me. That relationship is established only by joint execution of a written agreement for legal services. My law firm does not provide free consultations. Please do not call or write to me with a “few questions” that require me to analyze the specific facts of your history and your license application and prescribe for you how to get a State license. Send me an email to schedule a paid Consultation for that kind of information, direction, and assistance. My law firm presently accepts cases involving State and federal licenses and permits; discipline against State and federal licenses; and disciplinary and academic challenges to universities, colleges, boarding schools, and private schools. We take cases of wrongful termination or employment discrimination only if the claims involve peace officers, universities or colleges.

  2. I respectfully disagree..weaving within ones own lane is not necessarily probable cause to initiate a stop. There is a lot of supporting case law on this issue. An attorney should consider a 1538.5 depending on a lot of factors. How long was the weaving? Was it pronounced? Weather conditions? Get an attorney and explore this issue..

  3. It all depends how the officer articulates the driving.

    It is key that you hire the best locally experienced criminal defense attorney to represent you that you can afford. You should obtain a free consultation as soon as possible. Good luck.

    Law Offices of Mark Deniz
    1010 2nd Avenue, Suite 2307, San Diego, California 92101 (858) 751-4DUI

  4. Are they "able" to pull you over? Yes, and it appears they did. Will that hold up in court? it depends on the specific testimony at a suppression motion.

    Hire the best, locally experienced, criminal defense attorney you can afford. This is a good issue to fight, irrespective of your BAC.

    Law Offices of David Shapiro 3555 4th Avenue San Diego, CA 92103 (619) 295-3555

  5. Weaving or drifting within a traffic lane does not constitute an objective violation of the Vehicle Code. Vehicle Code section 21658(a) provides that "[a] vehicle shall be driven as nearly as practical within a single lane and shall not be moved from the lane until such movement can be made with reasonable safety."

    Consequently, if a driver stayed within his/her lane, it is difficult to ascertain how this is a violation of the law. Of course, this will likely not stop law enforcement or prosecutorial agencies from making the case that it was an objective violation of the vehicle code and, therefore, a valid 'pretext' for the stop. Once you get into the case law, it becomes a matter of what the law enforcement officer is going to say they saw. For example, in one case, pronounced weaving within a lane .... was found to have provided reasonable cause to stop a vehicle.

    A motion to suppress evidence is key in this case. You should certainly consult with a criminal defense attorney sooner rather than later to discuss who these facts and circumstances play out in the courts. / to schedule a free consultation.

  6. While weaving within a lane is not be a technical violation of Vehicle Code Section 21658(a) because there is no unsafe lane change, it may fall under the enforcement community's informal definition of "bad driving." I had similar DUI case where my client was video taped weaving by the officer's dash cam. We photographed a manhole with a raised profile at the location and argued that driver was avoiding an obstruction. We used that photographic evidence and a pending 1538.5 Motion to Suppress Hearing as leverage in the plea bargain.

    My responses to questions on Avvo are not legal advice and must not be relied upon as if they were legal advice. Exchange of information through Avvo's Questions forum does not establish an attorney-client relationship with me.