While highly unlikely, the short answer is yes. A police officer may arrest you without an arrest warrant if they have probable cause to believe that you have committed or are committing a crime, or if you have committed a crime in their presence. Thus, if an officer witnesses you committing even a minor traffic violation, they have the option of arresting you. However, this occurs very rarely and is usually only done if an officer is provoked. To avoid giving police a reason to arrest you for a minor violation, such as an infraction, see How to Handle a Traffic Stop.
What Types of Minor Traffic Violations May I Be Arrested For?
You can be arrested for a variety of minor traffic violations, including:
- Failure to yield
- Failing to stop or signal
- Failure to obey traffic lights
- Invalid registration sticker
- Invalid driver's license
- Seatbelt violations
- Reckless Driving
- Broken tail-light or failure to maintain vehicle
Should I Contact an Attorney?
If you have been arrested for a minor traffic violation, chances are you had a disagreement with the officer, or they were just having a bad day. Any time you are arrested, you have the right to an attorney. If you feel that you were falsely arrested, you should contact a criminal defense attorney immediately. They will be able to help you determine if there was police misconduct. Your attorney will be able to advise you of your rights and help you sue the police if necessary.