Probable Cause & Reasonable Suspicion in Traffic Stops- Criminal Attorney Explains | Jabar Post Indonesia

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Probable Cause & Reasonable Suspicion in Traffic Stops- Criminal Attorney Explains | Jabar Post Indonesia

– Hey, guys, this is Adam Feldman with The Feldman Law Firm. What I want to talk to you about today, we’re getting a lot of questions about the difference really between reasonable suspicion and probable cause as it relates to the criminal world, more specifically traffic stops, but it does bleed into different aspects. So, I wanna kind of cover this in the best ways so that anybody else who’s not a lawyer can understand it. And the problem is that the difference between the two is actually, it’s a very, very thin line. There’s not that much of a difference between the two when considering what’s what. The way it really breaks down is reasonable suspicion is the lowest level of a legal standard where police can really do anything. And the idea is that it’s associated with a stop and frisk. So, reasonable suspicion is nothing more than an articulable suspicion, so it’s not a hunch. When you think of a hunch, you’re just saying, mmm, that guy looks like he might be up to no good. That doesn’t count for reasonable suspicion, it’s just that little step more. So, I mean, the cops will incorporate a whole lot of information that most of the time, really, is bogus, but for example, you’re in a quote unquote “high crime neighborhood”, which to most of us means nothing, that could be my neighborhood that has since then been branded by some police officer as high crime, and therefore, they now have that reasonable suspicion to do what? To stop you, they can stop you and say, “Hey, man, what’s going on, what’s happening here?” Now, at this level of reasonable suspicion, that’s really what allows the officer to start saying, you know, I wanna frisk you, I want to check you for drugs, something to that effect. So, it incorporates the totality of the circumstances, it’s based off of an idea but something that this police officer has to be able to articulate. High crime neighborhood, the individual potential suspect is looking suspicious, sweating a lot when you’re in the middle of the winter, you know, just because the police came up, eyes darting back and forth. These are things, I mean, I haven’t described anything that’s criminal, but this is all reasonable suspicion that the police officer can articulate when it comes down to stopping you. And when that stop takes place, they then have the ability to arguably frisk you, check for drugs, check for firearms, what have you. But the biggest question here for anybody who is subject to a reasonable suspicion, frisk, or stop, or anything like that is am I being detained. That should always be the first question because just because a police officer interacts with you, just because a police officer comes to you and says, “Hey man, what’s going on?” Or “Hey, can I check you for drugs,” or “Hey, do you have a gun on you?” These are simply questions. Police can go around the neighborhood asking people questions. It doesn’t mean that you have to comply. So, with reasonable suspicion, this gives them that next step to actually detaining. So, it’s very important for anybody who’s interacting with police to very politely, and very calmly, ask, “Hey, am I being detained?” If they don’t answer the question, you are not being detained and you can walk away. If they tell you that you are being detained, well, the best advice is to comply. Because if they are detaining you, and then you start running away, giving reason for chase, you’re really only going to compound the circumstances and probably put yourself in more trouble. So, reasonable suspicion is articulable facts that allow this officer to really just stop you, quote unquote “detain you”, ask you some questions, frisk you even, check for drugs, weapons, or any criminal contraband. After, and this is really important, reasonable suspicion alone, you cannot arrest somebody. That’s probably the biggest distinction between where we’re going next which is now probable cause. So, reasonable suspicion, you can walk up to somebody, frisk, ask questions, but you cannot arrest on reasonable suspicion alone. Then we move to probable cause. Now, this is where things can start getting a little hairy for the suspect because at the time of probable cause, now we’re really invoking the fourth Amendment of the United States Constitution.

The Feldman Law Firm, PLLC
1 E Washington St, #2240
Phoenix, AZ, 85004
(602) 540-7887


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  1. Roswell police were advised that a vehicle not belonging to anyone in the neighborhood had been parked in front of a house for thirty minutes. It was late at night, 11:30 p.m., when an officer observed two males in the vehicle. Because of recent burglaries, he asked both people for ID. The driver was cooperative. The passenger gave his name and address but refused to give the officer his ID. He was charged with obstructing. State v. Hudson (2007). Was the officer correct arresting the passenger for obstructing? (no) The officer had a generalized suspicion about the situation. But he didn’t have an individualized reasonable suspicion that Defendant was committing or had committed a crime. The two subjects were sitting in a car, legally parked, and not involved in any criminal activity. In a situation like this, where the individual refuses to provide identification, and no individualized reasonable suspicion exists, that’s the end of the story. We cannot charge concealing ID or obstructing an officer. Conviction reversed.

  2. (I AM NOT AN ATTORNEY. 😉 Just referencing what I found on the following website. Always advisable to do your own due diligence/speak to an attorney, in person preferably, in your city/state as laws can/may differ.)
    Probable cause is generally defined as a reasonable belief that a crime has been committed based upon evidence or sufficient suspicion. A police officer’s "hunch" is never grounds for probable cause. If a legal basis for probable cause cannot be established, the officer usually must obtain a warrant before proceeding with a search or seizure.

    If no valid warrant is present, you have the right to respectfully deny a search or seizure of your person or premises. Only with your express consent can an officer proceed until a warrant is issued.

    That said, it is never a wise decision to physically resist/interfere with a police officer once the officer has made the decision to search. Plenty of examples as to why on YouTube/media. And they rarely end well for anyone. If the officer insists/further states they have probable cause/reasonable suspicion to conduct the search follow all requests/commands to the letter. If you are right, up until that point, you may be looking at only a traffic citation if that. Officers do have discretion to an extent if they will cite a driver or let them off with a warning.

    Keep this in mind. If you interfere with the officers search in any way you may have further charges brought up against you. As stated previously do make your objections known in a clear, calm courteous manner. The time to argue the case will be inside a courthouse with lawyer by your side.

  3. What you add at the end in an offhand way is absolutely critical, “all those things you don’t have to do,” and then you end. What?!
    What’s the hell is wrong with you?
    Hasn’t your Zen Master given you a wake-up wack lately. Jesus it’s forgetting little essentials like these that get your clients jailed, fined, and more. Don’t hire this moron ever!

  4. This is why we have so many lawyers in this country because we can't write laws or police procedures in a common sense manner that are easily understandable and not so open to interpretation. The fact that an officer can just claim he smells an illegal substance on your breath or in the car allowing him/her to violate your 4th Amendment rights is clearly a loophole that needs to be plugged, especially since the courts have determined that police have the legal ability to lie to you. There are dozens of YouTube videos showing cops using the "I smell…" claim as retaliation against people who are attempting to exercise their rights.

  5. Reasonable suspicion all they have to do is lie they don't need anything all they have to do is just make something up and it becomes your word against theirs and obviously they have the power

  6. In also in most States if you refuse a sobriente test breath task through whatever he making take you down to the breeze station and detain you and give you a blood test or if they can't do that then the majority the States that don't allow that suspend your license anyways so and fortune with a DUI stop you're screwed and as for just lowering your window down um yes I've seen some videos on YouTube and at time some Let him go in dat'd at a die I guess a lot of that depends on what state that you're in but there gives them reason to be suspicious I guess and you know that's all I need from then on and I think somewhere there was a ruino or something along the lines of this in the Supreme Court that if you only have one window down and the cops say they smell something is bull shet something to do with them no vacuum or something because no other windows are rolled up I've been trying to find it and I really can't but alternately you know when the other hand I live in the State of Illinois and on how they can just pull you out of the car for any reason they want you the passenger rom anybody in the car and they don't have to have any reason whatsoever other than they want you out of the car And I think that actually was a case precedent that dumb then getting you out of the car order you out of it car is not violation of your 4th amendment.

  7. 911 call enough for arrest ,simple black shirt blue jeans and enthicity description ?officer said on pre trial motions he had made up hes mind on arresting even before he stepped out of he's patrol car

  8. I think between the public and the make shift ideology that "suspicion" exists literally means nothing what I mean is if you ask a cop what are you doing and why did you approach me and why are you even talking to me and says , " We had a complaint or you are acting suspicious or both means nothing " FIRST OF ALL , THEY DON'T NEED YOU FOR AN INVESTIGATION AND SECONDLY NEITHER COMPLAINT OR SUSPICIOUS IS AN ANSWER ….LET ME REPEAT "IT'S NOT AN ANSWER "
    Either they have to arrest you or fuck off …it's really that simple . Try saying this …I didn't ask you if someone made a complaint or if you think I'm acting suspicious or you are doing an investigation . Why are you here / approaching me ? AN ARREST IS REAL BUT INVESTIGATION SUSPICION AND COMPLAINT ARE NOTHING NOTHING NOTHING NOTHING AND IRELLIVANT , TOTALLY AND COMPLETELY .

  9. dude all you're doing is trying to broaden the term we all know Reasonable Suspicion is not sufficient to pull somebody over you have to have a reasonable cause and if you don't know the difference you shouldn't be a lawyer not only does he have to have caused yes to justify his cause fucking cooking pieces of shit

  10. Here’s is my question, probable cause and reasonable suspicion is being determine by a police officer and not a court of law. So are you saying he can restrain my Liberty without him going to a court of law.

  11. walking in the hood with shifty eyes or not is not reasonable suspician since when can they frisk you if you are not under arrest? they can pat you down for weapons but they cant stick their hands in your pockets always videotape every police encounter and be silent

  12. duane howard
    Yes under the 4th amendment a police officer can take away your freedoms and liberty without the permission of the court. Those powers come from the 10th amendment. So what you are saying the 10 amendment overrides the 4,5, 6 and 9 amendments. Are you also saying that the people that work for the Republic Government the bill of rights applies to state entities and not the people. Most important you saying the police officers are the state? Who is the state the people or the people that work for the government ?

  13.,they say they smell alcohol or weed and ask you to exit your car to harass,intimidate ,or hurt you !!! If you know as a citizen that your haven't drank alcohol or smoked weed and you know their lying DO NOT EXIT YOUR CAR for your safety !!!! You sound to me like a cop's lawyer and not a very smart one !!! Citizens have rights also against harassment ,intimidation , harm ,and yes sometimes death !!! I don't know where you went to law school but I'm guessing it was no ivy league school !

  14. Reasonable suspicion is when something is so obvious that any reasonable person would suspect that crime is afoot.
    Probable cause is when it's not obvious to everyone but a trained officer could observe the totality of circumstances and suspect that crime is afoot.
    The law has perverted Terry v Ohio to make reasonable suspicion mean whatever they pull out of their ear.

  15. Okay, well can you please explain this hypothetical incident. The officer states during the traffic stop and in his written complaint, the reason for pulling you over is for failing to stop for a school bus when it's flashers were on. After running your license, because of unpaid surcharges , he places you under arrest for dwli. At your first court appearance, the court clerk calls you over and states the DA would like to offer you a deal, but you must first sign a paper, waiving your right to an attorney. You sign it, because you have printed out the state statue and federal law which confirms you were not required to stop for a school bus. You happen to be traveling in the far right lane, going in the opposite direction, on a 6 lane HWY with a dividing center lane. So the DA is looking in there computer and talking among themselves and tell you your free to go if you show prove of insurance. So the Da steps out in the hall and gets on the phone with your insurance agent. Who tells him her computer is down and she could not pull it up at that time. So you fax it, but due to Harvey the criminal courts we're sharing court rooms in the family law building, they obviously lost it, because a year later you are being arrested, for a warrant they issued for dwli. Now if you didn't break the law, then the officer had no cause to pull you over, so anything found during the stop should be inadmissable, right?

  16. What if you get pulled over for a minor infraction, like a tail light out? Then it turns into all this. I see this happening daily to people. This is BS. Reasonable suspicion? That is illegally detaining you.

  17. These cops have 6 months of training. That doesn't make them a doctor, a lawyer, etc. Most cops are corrupt. My daughter and I got stopped by the police one night. They couldn't find anything so then it turned into we had to be on drugs.

  18. you can't Frisk without probable cause I know she tried to trying to throw that in there Reasonable Suspicion no right to Frisk must have reasonable cause then you have the right to frisk

  19. Yes, only crack the window so you can get away with being a drunk moron behind the wheel, possibly killing yourself or someone else. I just cannot understand this advice. It seems like this is coaching people how to break the law without consequence and put others in danger.

  20. THE FELDMAN LAW FIRM, PLLC. Are you telling the whole TRUTH? You wouldnt be misleading the "masses", "Sheep" now would you?

    This is not legal advice & is for EDUCATIONAL purposes ONLY!
    You mentioned some key words such as … "anybody who is "subject" to a reasonable suspicion." Which implies that the so called "law" does not apply to everyone, is that correct? If the COP (CRIMINAL ON PATROL) the alleged judge & District Attorney are all EMPLOYEES of the STATE & I am not would that not create a CONFLICT of INTEREST?

    What Rule, Statute or Code are you relying upon that any Rules, Statutes or Code's apply to people & not just an Ens Legis?
    Is there a differece between an American, a people vs. a citizen, a subject or "Thing"?
    Are all crimes commercial as found @ 27 C.F.R 72.11?
    What is a traffic stop? Are all "Drivers" engaged in commerce? or could we be "Travelers"? How can you mix inadimate objects & living people in the same group of laws? … What is LEGALLY LIABLE? "a term used to mean that "something" is responsible under law."
    I dont know about you however, I know I am not a "Person" as defined by law!

    Rodriques v. Ray Donavan (US Department of Labor) 769 F. 2d 13341348 (1985.) “All codes, rules, & regulation are for government authorities only, not human/Creators in accordance with G-d's laws. All codes, rules, & regulations are unconstitutional & lacking due process…” … Black’s Law Dictionary 2nd Edition. defines “TRAFFIC” as; “Commerce; trade; dealings in merchandise, bills, money, and the like. See Iu re Insurance Co. (D. C.) 96 Fed. 757; Levine v. State, 3 5 Tex. Cr. R. 647. 34 S. W. 960; Feople v. Hamilton, 17 Misc. Rep. 11, 39 N. Y. Supp. 531; Merriam v. Langdon, 10 Conn. 471.”

    Fifty-sixth congress. Sess. II. Chp, 853, 854. (1901.)


    A territory situated on the Potomac river, and being the seat of government of the United States. It was originally "ten miles square," & was composed of portions of Maryland & Virginia ceded by those states to the United States; but in 1846 the tract coming from Virginia was retroceded. Legally it is neither a state nor a territory, but is made subject, by the constitution, to the exclusive jurisdiction of congress.

    Fifty-sixth congress. Sess. II. Chp, 853, 854. (1901.) Chp. 854 – An Act to establish a code of law for the District of Columbia.

    “Third. The word “person” shall be held to apply to partnerships & corporations, unless such construction would be unreasonable, & the reference to any officer shall include any person authorized by law to perform the duties of his office, unless the context shows that such words were intended to be used in a more limited sense. “

    SIXTY-FIFTH CONGRESS. Sess. I. CH. 106. 1917. “The word "person," as used herein, shall be deemed to mean an individual, partnership, association, company, or other unincorporated body of individuals, or corporation or body politic.”

    What is Ens Legis?

    L Lat. A creature of the law; an artificial being, as contrasted with a natural person. Applied to corporations, considered as deriving their existence entirely from the law.

  21. They can’t ask you to step out of a car doing a traffic stop? False, Pennsylvania v. Mimms gives Officers authority to do just that. They can also pay down for weapons during that time also.

  22. Isn't it reasonable suspicion "that a crime may have been, is, or is about to be committed"? How does a civil or traffic infraction allow an officer to demand identification. Especially in non stop and identify states?

  23. I live in California as far as I know you have the right to refuse any eye test of sobriety you might be taking to jail but without the charge of the dui please let me know if I'm wrong.. I appreciate your professionalism

  24. I was pulled over for a routine traffic stop I had legal license legal insurance I asked the car was I being detained the cop told me no and then proceeded to search the glove block cuz he said I had a record for this after all that being done answers to call for 35 minutes unlock the glove box and found a controlled substance I didn't waive the preliminary hearing I'm in the state of Mississippi how long does it take for preliminary hearing from my understanding 21 days is all that they have if nothing doesn't happen in the 21 days does the case get dismissed so do I still go to a probable cause hearing

  25. It took way to long to explain that cops can make up what ever they choose to make their actions justifiable. We only have one thing that will get us out of trouble. The camera. I have never met a cop that told the truth on a police report ever.

  26. If someone had a previous record of having illegal substances or drugs on them, is that probable cause to search them or their car? does that provide probable cause?

  27. Reasonable suspicion is not enough to for a mandatory I.d. correct ? meaning they cannot articulate any law I've broken so no I'D.. suspicion, acting weird, acting goofy, acting unusual, anti social, acting different is NOT against the law.

  28. Being in a " high crime area " does not constitute reasonable suspicion … it is just ONE fact ( depending on whether or not there is an official figure for what defines a " high crime area " ) that MIGHT go to constitute reasonable suspicion in conjunction with other facts / evidence … The cops still have to state what SPECIFIC CRIME they suspect you of and what objective facts led them to their suspicion which the courts' FICTIONAL " Reasonable Person " ( ) might concur to be reasonable.


    Suspicion – The apprehension or imagination of the
    existence of something wrong based only on inconclusive

    or slight evidence, or possibly even no evidence.

    Reasonable Suspicion – A particularized and
    objective basis, supported by specific and articulable
    facts, for suspecting a person of criminal activity. A police officer must have a reasonable suspicion to stop a person in a public place.

    Source: Blacks Law 9th edition.

  29. I have a question about a residential search warrant that was served on my boyfriends property.
    The police searched his house with a warrant that didn't have his name on it anywhere. However, the warrant did have his roommates name as the main subject and purpose for the warrant.
    The police were successful in finding what they were looking for and promptly arrested my bfs roommate.
    Unfortunately, a very small amount of drugs were subsequently found in my bfs bedroom, resulting in my bfs arrest. There was another female there with the roommate and she went to jail as well for possession.
    My question is Can my bf ask his p.defender to file a motion for dismissal due to his name Not being on the search warrant???
    The police were only there for the roommate and they seized his drugs and he's going to prison for a while now!!
    I just wanted to know if the exclusionary rule would apply because that reasonable suspicion and probable cause defense seems like a pretty fine line. And bc the police initially thought the property/house belonged to the roommate. My bf wasn't even in the picture. The policemen thought that the house was roommates. Let me guess, no! Because of the Good Faith Doctrine??
    Or inevitable discovery???
    Why do they even have the exclusionary rule???
    Is it there for a delusion of right to privacy and 4th amendment infringement???
    Thanks in advance!!🎲✌💋

  30. What about a driver who is reported for bad driving by a passing citizen who 911 and reports said driving. Dispatch passes that on to CHP who passes it to patrol vehicle. Officers spot the driver and follow driver about 1/2 mils and seen NO. Bad driving through a controlled intersection up a winding road where others have cashed, but thus driving is perfect. Summary; citizens report bad driving, cops find drive, follow and see no bad driving through various driving maneuvers and see no bad driving as described in double hearsay report to office. What do you think; did officers
    Have PC to stop. Remember also that cop did see the misdemeanor occur in his presence. Thanks. .

  31. Pennsylvania v. Mimms…you have to exit your vehicle if an officer orders you to do so pursuant a lawful traffic stop. All this language of "civil infraction" is malarkey. A traffic violation is a CRIMINAL violation, albeit a non-arrestable offense (in most cases); a minor misdemeanor. This video contains very misleading legal information (I would advise you come out front and say that this video should not be regarded as legal advice). You do not have to submit to SFST, breath test, or any form of test without a warrant (i.e. a fatal traffic accident in which the at fault party is suspected of having been impaired). However, to comply with the law, as established in Supreme Court case law (see Pennsylvania v. Mimms), you do have to step out of your vehicle if ordered to by a law enforcement officer during the course of a lawful stop (seizure).

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