Traffic Stops

Stopping for a Police Officer (or other Emergency Vehicle)

In a DWI investigation, an officer will sometimes testify that the vehicle was “slow to respond” to the officer’s emergency equipment. The slowness in response is often presented in court as evidence that the driver was impaired. After all, a sober person, it is thought, would respond immediately to the officer’s emergency equipment. It’s important,…

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Stopping a Car – Are you Nervous?

Many Driving While Impaired offenses turn on the question of whether the police had the constitutional power to stop the car. That’s because once the car is stopped, most people make all kinds of admissions and display all kinds of clues that indicate that they may be impaired. Once those field sobriety tests are conducted,…

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Reasonable Suspicion, DWIs, and Speeding

Reasonable suspicion is the standard by which an officer can effect a stop of a vehicle. It is the lowest standard in the criminal system. Reasonable suspicion requires that “[t]he stop… be based on specific and articulable facts, as well as the rational inferences from those facts, as viewed through the eyes of a reasonable,…

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Stopping for Weaving is Unconstitutional

Police may stop a vehicle for reasonable suspicion – specific facts that suggest criminal activity may be afoot – or probable cause that the car in fact is committing a crime by, perhaps, speeding, having expired registration, or violating another motor vehicle law. When police rely upon reasonable suspicion, they must be able to articulate…

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Can Police Stop a Vehicle for a Broken Brake Light?

The answer is: it depends. If both brake lights are out, then the car is violation of NC motor vehicle law, and a police officer may stop the vehicle. But if just one brake light is out, and nothing else unusual is observed about the vehicle or the driving, a police officer may not stop…

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Weaving alone: Can that justify a stop?

There are generally three parts to a DWI case. Broadly speaking. Why was the vehicle stopped? Why was the person arrested? How was the chemical analysis performed? While some DWI cases will deviate from this formula, most lawyers will evaluate your case along these lines because… that’s how most cops perform a DWI investigation. Even…

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How to Handle a DWI Stop and Arrest

So you’ve been out for the evening and had a couple of drinks. You’re on your way home, when all of the sudden you see those blue lights in the rear-view mirror. What do you do? If you’re reading this the day (or week) after being charged with a DWI, you should talk to a…

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Run and You’re Done Law Likely To Be Passed

The N.C. General Assembly is poised to pass the “Run and Your Done” bill, which will go into effect December 1, 2011. This law would allow North Carolina to seize the vehicle of anyone convicted of felony speeding to elude. The vehicle will be auctioned off to the highest bidder, with the proceeds going to…

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Traffic Arrests and First Offenders

Wake County – like many counties in North Carolina – offers deferred prosecution programs to people who are facing their first criminal charge. These programs – sometimes called First Offenders programs or deferral agreements – require the defendant to admit guilt. The written admission of guilt is held in a file until the person successfully…

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Handling a traffic stop

Most every driver in North Carolina will be pulled over at some point in his or her lifetime. This can be a very nerve racking experience. Blue lights come on; how fast must I pull over, where is a good location, what if there isn’t room to pull off, etc.? Though most traffic stops will…

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