Many individuals arrested in Utah are first pulled over for avoidable traffic violations.
A felony with an infraction on the side
If someone makes a driving error in the presence of a police officer they will usually get pulled over and issued a warning or a ticket. Once stopped by police for a minor traffic violation, police may then find valid reasons to arrest the driver. Police booking reports around the state show a pattern of criminal charges accompanied by infractions from simple traffic stops. Some common examples seen include:
• An individual arrested for a DUI while also being listed as having an infraction such as speeding.
• Someone charged with drug possession along with an infraction for not signaling while switching lanes or turning.
• A driver arrested for a weapons charge and a minor charge for no license plate light.
• Another person with warrants who is also charged with not fully stopping at a stop sign.
Happenstance or a planned stop
When someone is pulled over for a traffic stop, sometimes the officer has no idea the person was or is in the process of committing crimes likely to lead to an arrest. Other times however, the office may have a hunch about a driver and tails their car until they make a mistake, at which point the officer has a reason to pull them over to follow up on their gut feeling.
If someone is followed by police prior to being pulled over for a traffic violation, it may feel unfair to the driver and depending on the circumstances, could be considered a form of profiling. Anyone facing criminal charges following a traffic stop is encouraged to seek legal counsel. If concerns arise regarding possible profiling or violations of constitutional rights, an experience defense attorney will know best how to handle the legal proceedings.