Unlawful Police Stops
Law enforcement officers can stop drivers if they have a reasonable suspicion that a traffic violation has been committed. Unfortunately, this has given the police leeway to stop drivers even for the slightest offense. There are also circumstances where drivers are victims of an unlawful police stop based on illegally obtained evidence.
An unlawful police stop in Kansas City occurs when a police officer stops a driver without reasonable suspicion or probable cause to believe that a crime has been committed. Such random stops violate a driver’s constitutional rights, and the police officer must state the reason for stopping them.
Kansas City DUI lawyers can educate drivers on their fourth amendment rights to help them protect themselves against unlawful police stops.
Missouri Traffic Stop Laws
Drivers are required to follow Missouri traffic stop laws, which state that police officers can lawfully ask a driver to stop if they suspect a violation of laws, such as impaired driving.
If the police have probable cause to believe that it is a case of drunk driving (which is a higher standard than reasonable suspicion), they can search the driver and the vehicle.
If arrested, the driver must be read their Miranda Rights by the police officer, which informs them of their right to remain silent. No warrant is required for a DWI case. However, it might be needed for a blood test.
Missouri Stop-and-Identify Law
Missouri has a stop-and-identify law which means that the police can legally stop and ask the driver to state their name and produce their driver’s license if they have a reasonable suspicion that the driver has violated a law.
If the police request a driver to present their ID card, the driver must give them their driver’s license and, if required, the vehicle registration and proof of insurance.
In some cases, drivers being stopped for DUI attempt to conceal their identity from law enforcement officials. In addition to resisting arrest under the stop-and-identify law, refusal to provide your ID could result in obstruction of justice charges.
What to Do if a Police Officer Asks to Search Your Car?
Generally, as per the fourth amendment, you have the right to refuse law enforcement from searching you, your car, or your home. However, exceptions to these rules exist.
The police may carry out a search if they have probable cause to believe that a law has been violated or if they have a valid search warrant.
Can You Record the Police in Missouri?
Yes, the first amendment permits citizens to videograph a police officer in public if it does not prevent them from performing their duty. Audio recordings are more of a gray area as they may be considered a violation of federal wiretapping laws.
How Long Can the Police Follow You in Kansas City?
There is no specific duration for which a law enforcement officer can follow a driver in Kansas City.
The cops can keep following you as long as they want if they believe a crime has been committed or will likely be committed.
How Can a Missouri Criminal Lawyer Defend You?
One way for drivers to protect themselves against unlawful police stops is by hiring a Missouri criminal defense lawyer who is knowledgeable in Missouri law and standard police operations. They can listen to you and examine the facts and evidence of your case to help build a defense.
Suppose the police officer arrested you in an impaired driving stop, where you weren’t intoxicated and passed the field sobriety tests. In such a case, you have the right to remain silent and hire an experienced attorney to fight the allegations leveled against you. Contact the Missouri DWI & Criminal Law Center in Kansas City, MO, for a free case evaluation today!