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Reasons For Probable Cause

By: Perry J Zucker – February 2, 2013

Definitions of  Probable Cause
“`A well-grounded suspicion that a crime has been or is being committed’”. The facts and circumstances must show a “`reasonable ground for belief of guilt.”(+)

Most “Probable Cause” traffic stops are for an indirect reason(s).  Some of these vehicle traffic stops were initialized by:

Laser / Lidar Speed Guns measures speed by utilizes an infrared light beam, which is activated by the Police Officer, at a moving target (your vehicle). The officer observed the target vehicle (yours / defendant) and reads the speed display of the laser/ lidar unit.

Radar Gun / Unit speed measures speed by utilizes RF, which is activated by the police officer, at a moving target (your vehicle). The officer observed the target vehicle (yours / defendant) and reads the speed display of the radar unit.

Pacing / Pace measures speed of the target vehicle (yours) by keeping a uniform distance from the rear / front / side for a specific distance(s) and reads the speed of his/her speedometer.

Gap Time / Timing / Vascar  measures speed of the target vehicle (yours), utilize a method  that uses a timing theory between two (2) points with a known distance.

Disobey Traffic Control Device – The police officer observes a target vehicle passes a traffic signal, sign, and/or crossing a pavement marking(s), etc.

Faulty Equipment – The police officer observes a target vehicle that has standard equipment not operating, e.g. head light(s), tail lights, etc. and/or equipment that should not be operating.

Once, the vehicle (yours) is safely pulled over,  the police officer / trooper will make a determination, if any further action(s) should be taken, such as authorized or unauthorized search,  person of interest interview(s), traffic ticket(s) and/or arrest, as well as possibly impounding the vehicle in question.

Conclusion
In order for a law enforcement officer to make a lawful probable cause traffic stop, he/she must meet certain key elements (See Above).  It is these type of cases, that a probable cause traffic stop expert witness will be critical.

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