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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Dec 2010
    Posts
    3

    Default Challenging a Traffic Stop that Led to Drug Charges

    My question involves police conduct in the State of: Florida
    Hello,
    On my way home from work, i was stopped at a red traffic light waiting to make a left turn.
    i was momentarily distracted looking for my phone and did not see the light turn green.
    the car behind me started honking, so i looked up and proceeded through the intersection.

    Immediately after i was pulled over, the reason stated by the officer ,"was because of the honking at the light"

    then he smelt the weed, i told him it was in my pocket, i was arrested for poss. under 20 grams and paraphernalia

    i was not cited for any traffic violation, and really feel like i shouldn't have been stopped in the first place by this gung ho policeman
    are my feelings unwarranted?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Sep 2010
    Posts
    18,915

    Default Re: Valid Traffic Stop. Leading to Poss. Marijuana Charge

    I'm not going to disparage your feelings, but as far as evidence rules go, the cop only needs to articulate a cause for the stop. "Because someone honked at you" isn't really good enough. The fact that you appeared to be inattentive to driving resulting in someone honking at you, would be. It is not required that you be cited for whatever they thought you might have been doing.


    You should consult a lawyer.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
    Posts
    3,835

    Default Re: Valid Traffic Stop. Leading to Poss. Marijuana Charge

    Given the facts and no surprises, it is more of in your favor, in my opinion.

    Yes, it is settled law "stopping a motor vehicle IS a seizure" under the 4th AM.

    Was the seizure "reasonable" as the 4th requires??

    Most probably, as in most states, an officer needs only a "reasonable suspicion" a traffic law is/was broken to stop (seize) a car.

    How long the delay was may enter into it?

    Unless the law can point to specifics that you obstructed traffic or some such related law, the officer may have a hard time justifying the stop.

    If you can successfully argue it was a violation of either the federal or the Florida constitution's parallel S&S clause, the evidence will be thrown out on a motion to suppress it under the federal Exclusionary Rule made applicable to the states in 1961, Mapp v. ohio.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Dec 2010
    Posts
    3

    Default Re: Valid Traffic Stop. Leading to Poss. Marijuana Charge

    well, i think i would have to concede that i obstructed traffic, since they were honking
    but is that a violation?
    i have honked at cars in front of me just to let them know the light changed
    i would hate to think that i have then somehow put them under risk of being pulled over as a result

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
    Posts
    3,835

    Default Re: Valid Traffic Stop. Leading to Poss. Marijuana Charge

    Quote Quoting turtle17
    View Post
    well, i think i would have to concede that i obstructed traffic, since they were honking
    but is that a violation?
    Hard to say? In Ohio here some cities have Ordinances called Full time and attention. It means as the catchphrase states. IF a person is not giving thier driving FTA, it is a prima facie violation.

    If there was a honk, meaning you were not watching the light, it is possible, given a similar Ordinance or state law, it could provide enough justification for an investigatory stop/Terry stop.

    The officer however, upon your proposal to the court it was an Unconstitutional stop, has to justify it.

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