An interesting case is headed to the Supreme Court of the United States,
or SCOTUS, this fall. The case, out of North Carolina, involves a cop
that made a stop based on a law that didn't exist. The cop argues
his stop was "reasonable," and that the resulting arrest should
stand. Criminal justice advocates argue that cops should be held to a
The case began when the officer pulled over a car because it had a faulty
brake light. The enforcement officer was under the belief that it was
illegal to drive a vehicle in the state with a broken brake light. In
reality, the law allows for one broken brake light as long as the other
works. As a result, the driver operating the vehicle was following the
law and the officer had no basis for the stop. During the stop, the officer
requested permission to search the vehicle. The driver and passenger agreed,
and the officer found illegal drugs in the car. This evidence led to various
Officers are required to have a reason to make a stop. Without a valid
reason, the stop is invalid and any resulting evidence is generally not
allowed in court. As a result, the driver argues that the evidence, or
illegal drugs, found during the search should not be admissible since
there was no legal reason for the officer to stop him in the first place.
The case is being heard by SCOTUS this fall and highlights the basic protections
granted under the Fourth Amendment against unreasonable searches and seizures.
It also represents an example of the importance of hiring an experienced
criminal defense attorney if charged with a crime. This legal professional
will review the basis for the charges and make sure all laws were followed.
If your rights were violated, the charges could be dismissed.
Source: The Newspaper, "
US Supreme Court To Rule On Cops Who Get Law Wrong," August 4, 2014