Utah Traffic Stops and Search and Seizure
Many if not most people who are charged with crimes are charged as a result of being pulled over by a police officer and then after one thing leads to another a search and seizure takes place and incriminating evidence is found. This is especially true in Utah DUI cases and drug crimes. The problem is that the Utah Code is so extensive on the issue of traffic offenses that anything can constitute a traffic crime. Utah law enforcement can find a traffic violation anytime they want to and use it as a pretense to pull you over and try to search your car.
Below are some examples of traffic violations that law enforcement uses time and again in order pull people over and search their vehicles.
- Failing to stop before a sidewalk in a parking lot;
- Stopping in a crosswalk;
- Failing to operate within one lane;
- Failing to signal when changing lanes;
- Following too close to another vehicle;
- Failing to yield the right of way;
- Malfunctioning headlamps, tail lights, and other lamps;
- Malfunctioning license plate lights;
- Missing license plate;
- No insurance turns up when checked on the state database.
Challenging the Stop
One of the primary defenses in any search and seizure case is to challenge the stop. As shown above, however, it is not very difficult to find a reason to pull someone over. What’s interesting is that in spite of the many different legal excuses cops have to pull someone over they, cops still mess up all the time and pull people over for no reason whatsoever.
Many law enforcement agencies have dash cam videos that record the entire stop of a vehicle. It is very possible that such a video exists in your case, and if so, we will get it. These videos are key pieces of evidence and can make or break your case. One we have that video we can quickly determine whether it would make sense to file a motion challenging the stop.
Our firm has been very successful in getting cases dismissed based on illegal stops. If you are facing charges that stem from an automobile stop and a search and seizure, contact our Utah criminal defense lawyers at 801.618.1334.