If I am pulled over without probable cause, how do I build my defense?
Question Details: I was driving down the road and was pulled over by local police. The officer said she was riding behind me and ran my plates and found that the plates were actually expired. When she got my SSN she discovered my license was suspended. She wrote me a ticket for Driving under a suspended license since the car wasn't in my name. The vehicle I was driving had stickers on the license plate that indicated that the car was registered until 2010. I wasn't charged with anything but suspended license and my question is was this a legal stop? I don't feel the officer had probable cause to pull meover
Police officers need reasonable suspicion to stop a motor vehicle on the highway. Police officers are permitted to run plates and pull you over if the plates are expired or not registered or if the owner of the car (regardless if that is you) has an expired license. In this case, the police officer pulled the car over becasue they believed that the plates were expired. if this was not the case and no reasonable officer running plates should have determined that the plates were expired, the the stop was not lawful and all the evidence obtained there after may be suppressed. however, the problem here is that you cannot assert a violation of a right that is not your right. since the car is not owned by you the officer was violating the owner's rights, not yours for stopping the car. once the officer stopped the car and realized your license was suspended, you do not have much ground to stand on if the license was truly suspended. I suggest that you hire a lawyer to represent you in court to work out a deal. if you get your license reinstated by the first court date or get a continuance to get your license reinstated, the state may drop the charges.