Police Officers Cannot Detain You for an Unreasonable Amount of Time During a Traffic Stop

Posted by Raymond Kimble | Jan 16, 2019 | 0 Comments

Being stopped for a motor vehicle violation is probably the most common interaction people in Arizona will have with police.  Citizens who are otherwise law abiding individuals will most often be stopped for common violations such as speeding, running a stop sign or failing to stop for a red light or use a turn signal.  Most often these contacts with the police do not last very long and end once a warning or citation is issued.  However, in some circumstances, the police will extend the traffic stop and try to investigate alleged criminal activity such as the possession or sale of illegal drugs.

Once a person is pulled over by police for a traffic violation, they are determined to have been "seized" for purposes of the United States Constitution.  The 4th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution protects people against unreasonable searches and seizures by police and generally requires a warrant before a person, their home or possessions may be searched.

Unless a police officer has "reasonable suspicion" that an individual in engaged in some type of criminal activity, the officer cannot extend the traffic stop beyond what is necessary to complete the tasks related to enforcement of the State's motor vehicle laws.  That is either issuing a citation, warning or possibly even a verbal reprimand.  "Reasonable Suspicion" of criminal activity is based on an objective standard of all the facts and circumstances an officers is aware of while addressing the motor vehicle violation.  These might include odors of marijuana, inconsistent responses to questions asked by the officer, unusual movements by the driver or passengers,  or items the officer notices within plain view inside the car.  If an officer cannot reasonably show that he was suspicious of criminal activity, he cannot extend the motor vehicle stop at all to try and get consent to search the car, await for the arrival of a police dog, etc.

Recently, the courts also extended the protection to passengers in a car stopped by police for a motor vehicle violation. In a recent case, a car was stopped by police who then requested that a passenger identify themselves.  When the passenger refused to provide his name, police concluded that the passenger was violating a lawful order and subsequently detained them, searched their person and the vehicle they occupied.  Evidence obtained by the police during their search of the car was suppressed because the court determined that the passengers had no duty to identify themselves and their refusal to give their names to police did not indicate they were involved in criminal activity.  Consequently, police had no legitimate basis to extend the traffic stop beyond issuing a citation to the driver.

Police searches of automobiles following a routine traffic stop are often conducted to investigate the possession, use or sale of illegal drugs such as marijuana, heroin, cocaine or methamphetamine.  It is very important to be aware of your constitutional rights concerning police practices and traffic stops.  Moreover, if you are arrested after being stopped for a simple traffic violation, it is important to contact an experienced criminal defense attorney who can recognize and successfully argue issues which can help defend your case.

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If you have been charged with a felony, misdemeanor or DUI offense in Tempe, Phoenix, or any other city within Maricopa or Pinal County,  it is vital that you contact a highly skilled criminal lawyer immediately. Tempe Criminal Defense lawyer Raymond Kimble will recognize available defenses and has been defending people  for many years. Mr. Kimble knows how to prepare a solid defense, challenge the prosecution's evidence and negotiate a reduction or dismissal of the charges

With a seasoned Tempe criminal defense attorney on your case, you will have your rights protected as your attorney fights to secure a favorable outcome on your behalf. Attorney Raymond Kimble has successfully represented hundreds of individuals throughout Arizona over the last twenty years who have been arrested for and charged with criminal and DUI offenses

About the Author

Raymond Kimble

About Raymond Kimble Attorney Raymond Kimble has built his law practice on the philosophy that each client deserves consistent individual attention. Ray realizes that being charged with a DUI or criminal offense is one of the most stressful events in a person's life. A DUI, felony or misdemeanor arrest can involve prison or jail time, probation, huge fines and a criminal record. Consequently, people who face DUI, felony or misdemeanor charges in Arizona are placed at risk of losing employment or being barred from future job opportunities. Ray works to lessen his client's anxiety by ensuring that they have direct access to him at all times and can reach him by e-mail, cell phone or text during normal business hours as well as nights or weekends if they have a pressing question or concern. Raymond Kimble is a dedicated DUI and criminal defense lawyer who has built a reputation of working tirelessly to protect his client's constitutional rights, their future and liberty. Ray strives to provide the strongest defense possible for each client despite the obstacles they may face. Put Experience to Work for You Raymond Kimble's twenty years of experience with respect to DUI, misdemeanor and felony criminal charges extends well beyond law school where he graduated within the top ten percent of his class. Ray was a police officer for ten years prior to becoming an attorney. As a police officer, Ray was trained in both DUI and criminal investigation and his personal involvement in criminal cases while a police officer certainly gives him a unique perspective when reviewing police reports, interviewing witnesses and challenging physical evidence. Ray often identifies legal issues or mistakes made by police during an investigation through his own personal experience as a patrol officer. In addition to his police experience, Raymond Kimble worked as a prosecutor with the Maricopa County Attorney's Office where he was responsible for prosecuting DUI, felony and misdemeanor crimes. During his tenure as a prosecutor, Ray conducted a number of jury trials and hearings related to the admissibility of evidence. Through his involvement with these cases as a prosecutor, Ray learned how to properly evaluate the strength and weaknesses of a DUI, misdemeanor or felony charge and became skilled in jury selection, argument, and the direct and cross examination of both civilian witnesses, experts and police officers. Of course, Raymond Kimble's expertise extends beyond his experience as a police officer and prosecutor. Specifically, Ray has successfully represented thousands of people during the last fifteen years throughout Maricopa County, Arizona. To best serve his Clients, Raymond remains current on changes in the law as well as police tactics by regularly attending seminars focused on defending criminal charges and reading the latest articles and books related to DUI and criminal defense. Ray also regularly writes criminal defense blogs and posts so that people faced with a criminal charge are better informed about their rights.


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