Minor Traffic Arrests & Violations Lawyers

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 What is a Minor Traffic Arrest?

A traffic arrest may occur when an individual is taken into police custody in connection with some kind of traffic violation. The arrest typically occurs after the police pull over someone due to a traffic stop. Briefly, a traffic stop is when a police officer tells you to pull your vehicle over to the side of the road because they have reasonable suspicion or probable cause to believe that you have committed some type of traffic violation.

In some instances, if the traffic violation is severe enough, then it may warrant the police arresting you and reading you your Miranda rights. Being read your Miranda rights, also known as the act of Mirandizing, is essential during an arrest. If the police fail to Mirandize you after you have been arrested, then the prosecutor will not be allowed to use anything that you say about the violation or while in police custody at your trial.

In addition, some traffic stops and subsequent arrests may require you to undergo a test for drunk driving. This could involve a breathalyzer, a urine sample, a blood test, and many other versions of police field sobriety tests.

This is especially true in cases where law enforcement officers pull over someone’s vehicle when they have a reason to believe that a person is driving while under the influence of alcohol, illegal substances, or prescribed medications that cause impairment.

To learn more about minor traffic arrests and whether there are any defenses available that you can raise against the charges, you should speak to a local criminal defense attorney immediately. They can provide further legal advice that will be tailored to the exact issues in your specific matter.

Can I Be Arrested for a Minor Traffic Violation?

Although it is highly unlikely that someone would be arrested for committing a minor traffic violation, such as running a red light or parking in an illegal spot, the short answer to this question is yes, it is possible for someone to be arrested for committing a minor traffic offense. This is because there are some instances in which a law enforcement officer will not be required to obtain a warrant first before making an arrest.

For example, a law enforcement officer will be permitted to pull over a motor vehicle and arrest the driver if they have probable cause to believe the following:

  • That the driver has committed a crime or legal violation;
  • That the driver is in the process of committing a crime or legal violation; or
  • If the law enforcement officer saw the driver commit a criminal act or legal violation while in their presence.

In other words, if a law enforcement officer so much as witnesses a driver committing a criminal act or even a minor traffic law violation while in the presence, then they will likely be permitted to lawfully arrest that driver.

As previously mentioned, however, it is extremely rare for a driver to be arrested for committing a minor violation of the traffic law. In fact, these types of arrests usually only occur when a law enforcement officer is provoked or believes they are in some kind of imminent danger.

To find out more about how a driver can avoid being arrested for committing a minor traffic law violation, such as during a receipt of a traffic citation or minor traffic infraction, readers of this article should click the following link to view How to Handle a Traffic Stop. Additionally, drivers who have incidentally already been arrested for committing a minor traffic violation should contact a local criminal defense attorney right away.

What Types of Minor Traffic Violations Can I be Arrested For?

There are a number of different kinds of minor traffic law violations that a driver can carry out and can then potentially be arrested for committing. Whether or not a driver is actually arrested for committing a minor traffic law violation will depend on a variety of factors, such as the circumstances surrounding the violation and the traffic laws of each individual jurisdiction.

In general, some types of minor traffic law violations that could possibly lead to a driver being arrested for committing them may include the following:

  • Speeding (note that this is especially true in cases where the driver is traveling well above the posted speed limit);
  • Driving a vehicle while impaired;
  • Failing to stop at a stop sign, a red light, or other relevant traffic signal;
  • Driving a car that is stolen or is registered to another driver without their permission;
  • Being in possession of an invalid or forged driver’s license;
  • Failing to have a seatbelt on or committing a similar child safety seat violation;
  • Having invalid, forged, or stolen registration documents for a vehicle;
  • Driving a vehicle that has a broken tail light or some other car part that requires routine maintenance for safety reasons;
  • Driving a vehicle in a negligent or reckless manner;
  • Failing to yield to traffic where appropriate or if the circumstances warrant it; and/or
  • Committing various other traffic law violations that may warrant being arrested or receiving a ticket in a particular jurisdiction.

In addition, a law enforcement officer will most likely arrest a driver for committing a major traffic law violation, such as refusing to obey a police officer’s command to stop or pull over their vehicle, for being involved in a hit and run accident, and for committing vehicular manslaughter or vehicular homicide.

What If I Refuse to Cooperate During a Traffic Stop?

Generally speaking, many arrests that occur during a traffic stop usually have something to do with the manner in which a driver is behaving or speaking to the police officer involved in the traffic stop. If a driver is willing to calmly cooperate with the police during a routine or minor traffic stop, then they will most likely not encounter any other problems. The most that will happen is that they will receive a traffic ticket and then be allowed to continue on their way.

On the other hand, if a driver fails to cooperate with the police or is behaving aggressively towards them during a traffic stop, then the officer who pulled them over will be more inclined to arrest them and to take them into police custody. In many cases, the police will believe that such behavior may be a sign that a driver is either under the influence or may be a potential threat to the officer’s own safety.

Some common examples of the types of conduct that can escalate an otherwise routine traffic stop or violation may include the following:

  • Threatening to harm a police officer by acting out (e.g., throwing a punch);
  • Resisting arrest or evading a police officer;
  • Acting physically violent towards a police officer;
  • Shouting or using profane language when communicating with a police officer; and
  • Failing to comply with a police officer’s request (e.g., to exit the vehicle, hand over a driver’s license and registration, to pull over, etc.).

In these types of scenarios, the arresting officer may simply detain the driver until they have calmed down and are able to cooperate in a civil manner. However, in more serious situations like if a driver assaults a law enforcement officer, then it is much more likely that the driver will be arrested, taken into custody, and brought into a nearby police station for booking purposes. Again, this will depend on a driver’s history and the specific facts involved in a traffic stop.

What if a Person Has a History of Resisting Arrest?

Another factor that may contribute to whether a person is arrested for committing a minor traffic law violation or not is if they have built up a prior history of resisting arrests. Once a driver is pulled over, a law enforcement officer can quickly search their background history by using information from their driver’s license or state ID.

In some instances, the records system that police use may alert them to whether a driver has a history of resisting arrest. Additionally, if a driver is consistently arrested in a smaller county, then a police officer may have personal knowledge and experience that a driver resists arrests if the officer has previously tried to stop or arrest that driver in the past.

In situations where a driver has a history of resisting arrests, it can affect how a law enforcement officer approaches and handles that particular driver. For example, an officer may exercise more caution or may use a different technique to approach them than they would with a driver who does not have a history of resisting arrest. Thus, just this one factor alone can make it that much more likely that an officer arrests the driver if they become aggressive during a traffic stop.

It should be noted, however, that law enforcement officers must still act in accordance with proper police procedures. If not, then they may be at risk of violating a driver’s legal rights or can be accused of executing a false arrest, which can lead to serious repercussions.

Should I Contact an Attorney for Help with a Minor Traffic Arrest?

If you have been arrested for committing any type of minor traffic law violation, then it may be in your best interest to contact a local traffic violation attorney as soon as possible. A criminal defense attorney who has experience in handling minor traffic arrests in your area will already be familiar with the traffic laws and procedural requirements in that jurisdiction.

Your attorney can also assist you in clearing any charges against you if you believe that you have been the victim of a false arrest. In addition, your attorney can help you perform legal research to build a defense for your case as well as can aid you in filling out and filing the necessary legal documents in court.

Lastly, your attorney will also be able to provide legal representation on your behalf if you are summoned to appear before a judge in criminal or traffic court.


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