It would be extraordinarily rare for someone to go through life without ever having been pulled over by the police.
However, if you believe you or someone you know may have been unlawfully stopped by the police, Petersen Law Office can provide you with insight, guidance, and possibly defense.
If you were pulled over in Nebraska and issued a criminal citation or arrested as a result of what occurred during the traffic stop, call us today to speak with a knowledgeable, experienced attorney.
Unlawful Traffic Stops
Traffic stop laws in Nebraska are governed by the Nebraska State Constitution as well as the United States Constitution.
A traffic stop may be considered a seizure under the Fourth Amendment depending on how long you are stopped if you have been detained and if you have been arrested.
The Fourth Amendment, as well as the Nebraska State Constitution, guarantee every person the right to be free from unreasonable search and seizures.
Typically, any search or seizure by the police requires a warrant.
However, police may be able to stop and search your vehicle if they have probable cause to believe there will be evidence of illegal activity inside.
If they do not have probable cause, the stop is unlawful.
During the course of a routine traffic stop, police officers are allowed to ask you to produce certain documents, including your driver’s license, proof of insurance, and registration.
However, this is generally the extent of what they are allowed to do without either your consent or probable cause.
If you are pulled over, you should not consent to the search of your vehicle. If you do so, then a probable cause defense is not available to you later.
Probable cause exists if the officer reasonably believes that a traffic violation or illegal activity occurred.
Often probable cause to search a vehicle without a warrant is met based on observation, i.e., what did the officer see or smell?
For example, if the officer allegedly smells marijuana, they now have probable cause to search your vehicle.
If that search then yields marijuana, you will be charged with a possession offense and now face a criminal charge.
The best way to suppress that evidence (i.e., the marijuana) altogether is for the traffic stop to be deemed illegal or unlawful.
If following a traffic stop, you are charged with a crime, you need an experienced criminal defense attorney on your side.
A very common charge following a traffic stop is drug possession.
Depending on the type and amount of drugs found, it can be a serious offense with a hefty penalty.
If the stop turns out to be unlawful, any evidence found during that stop will be inadmissible and the prosecutor likely will not be able to prove their case.
One of the best ways to avoid a conviction of a drug offense is if the stop is deemed unlawful.
If there was no probable cause for the stop and the court deems it an unreasonable traffic stop, then your remedy is suppression of any evidence found during that illegal traffic stop.
Unlawful Traffic Stops in Nebraska
Illegal traffic stops can be difficult to prove. It takes the skill and experience of a criminal defense or traffic offense attorney to determine if the traffic stop was proper.
Further, these cases are not always straightforward or as clear as they first seem to be.
For instance, perhaps the stop itself was proper, but the cop illegally detained you on the side of the road for a prolonged period of time.
This may be enough to constitute an unreasonable traffic stop.
Having an attorney with years of experience and an eye for detail may make all the difference in the outcome of your case.
Due in large part to Route I-80 running through the state of Nebraska, there is a high volume of drug cases stemming from traffic stops.
This not only affects Nebraskans but also affects numerous out-of-state drivers. Often cars with out-of-state plates are targeted and stopped by the police.
If you live outside Nebraska but were charged with a crime as a result of being pulled over by Nebraska police, call us today.
Hiring a seasoned Nebraska criminal defense attorney to defend your rights is crucial to beating the state’s charges.
Nebraska Traffic Stop Defense Attorney
Petersen Law Office has handled over 6,000 cases ranging from traffic stops to serious criminal offenses.
We handle each case with care to help you get the outcome you deserve.
If you or a loved one was charged with a crime following a traffic stop, contact us online or call us today to schedule a private, confidential, free consultation to discuss your case, whether the stop may have been unlawful, and any potential defenses you may have.