Fort Lauderdale Illegally Prolonged Stop Attorneys
Illegally prolonged stops typically occur when law enforcement pulls someone over for a suspected DUI. Law enforcement officers are under strict requirements when they pull someone over. They must have reasonable suspicion to stop someone, and they must have probable cause to arrest them. To gain this probable cause, police officers will sometimes unnecessarily prolong the stop, searching for things they can use against the driver. This is an illegal practice. If you believe you were unnecessarily detained, our Fort Lauderdale illegally prolonged stop attorney can assist with your case.
Police Cannot Stop You Longer than is Reasonably Necessary
When a police officer lawfully observes certain behavior that gives them reasonable suspicion a motorist is violating the law, or will violate the law, they can pull them over. Once the stop has been made, the officer may then detain the driver temporarily, investigating to determine whether a law has been, or will be, broken. It is not uncommon for motorists to wonder how long a police officer may detain them after making the stop.
Florida law is quite vague surrounding how long a police officer may keep you at the scene. Under Florida Statute 901.151(3), law enforcement officers cannot stop or detain a person to determine if there is cause for arrest “longer than is reasonably necessary.” Due to the fact that the law is so broad, determining whether a stop was illegally prolonged depends on the facts of the case.
For example, if you were pulled over for a suspected DUI, and you were stopped for 15 minutes before being arrested, that is likely not an illegally prolonged stop. This may be a reasonable amount of time for the officer to ask for your driver’s license, enter the information, and obtain some basic information from you. If they then have probable cause to arrest you, they likely can reasonably do so.
On the other hand, if a traffic stop lasted for 45 minutes and during that time, the officer tried to exhaust you with field sobriety tests and excessive questioning, that would likely be considered an illegally prolonged stop. Law enforcement officers cannot force you to subject to field sobriety tests and when they do, there are generally only three they can ask you to perform.
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What Happens After an Illegally Prolonged Stop?
If a police officer illegally prolongs your traffic stop, any evidence obtained after a reasonable amount of time has passed is inadmissible in your case. Any time law enforcement does not comply with the requirements for a traffic stop, the evidence used afterwards cannot be used against you. A attorney will file a motion to suppress that evidence, which is incredibly helpful to your case.
Call Our Fort Lauderdale Illegally Prolonged Stop Attorney Today
If you have been arrested after being detained for an unreasonably long time, our Fort Lauderdale criminal defense lawyer at Meldon Law can assist with your case. After reviewing the facts of your case, we will determine if an unlawful stop and arrest was made and if so, take the appropriate steps to have evidence obtained as a result thrown out. Call us today at 800-373-8000 or contact us online to schedule a free consultation and to learn about your options.