Defending Your Criminal Case: Police stops based on an observed equipment defect
Police stop based on missing or defective equipment on your vehicleOne valid and common reason a law enforcement officer may stop your vehicle is if he or she observes a missing piece of equipment on your vehicle or sees that a part of your vehicle is defective. Common examples are if your brake lights are burned out, your tires are bald, or one of your headlamps is not working.
Police stop is invalid if based upon an observed equipment defect that is not a legally required item of equipment.However, if a law enforcement officer stops you because your rearview mirror is too small, and there is no law specifying the size of your rearview mirror, then the officer's pretext for the stop is invalid. If that pretext is based on anything other than a published, existing law, then the stop itself will be declared invalid.