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Can Police In Bergen County Pull Me Over For A Broken Tail Light?


A traffic stop is rarely a pleasant experience in Bergen County – especially when you face the possibility of legal consequences. This might be something as simple as a traffic ticket – or it could be something much more serious. Whatever the case may be, many motorists in Bergen County wonder about the circumstances in which police are allowed to pull them over. Can they really pull you over for something as minor as a broken tail light?

Even a Minor Traffic Infraction Can Lead to a Traffic Stop 

Even a minor traffic infraction gives police the right to pull you over. Examples include broken tail lights, improper merging, failing to indicate before turning, failing to come to a complete stop at a stop sign, and so on. After they pull you over, they may also issue a ticket for the offense. Many traffic offenses are technically misdemeanors in New Jersey – and some can lead to potential jail sentences.

Can Traffic Stops Lead to More Serious Criminal Offenses? 

A minor traffic stop has the potential to lead to more serious criminal charges, including DUIs, drug possession, unlawful possession of firearms, and so on. However, it is very important to be aware of your rights after a traffic stop.

In the event of a suspected DUI, you are under no real obligation to consent to a breath test. Although you may face the suspension of your driving privileges for refusing, a police officer cannot force you to comply.

If a police officer wants to search your vehicle, there must be a high likelihood of finding evidence of a crime. Without a warrant, they have no right to search your vehicle unless you consent. It is worth asking whether they have a warrant, and refusing if they do not.

What if There Was Never Any Traffic Infraction? 

If you genuinely believe that you did not commit any traffic infraction prior to your traffic stop, the police officer may have been violating your rights when they pulled you over. Although a police officer can technically initiate these stops for very minor infractions, some kind of crime must occur. If there was no traffic infraction, then the entire traffic stop may have been unconstitutional. As such, any following events – such as the discovery of certain evidence – would be unlawful. Any evidence recovered after an illegal traffic stop would also likely be inadmissible in court.

Find a Qualified, Experienced Criminal Defense Attorney in Bergen County 

If you have been searching for a qualified, experienced New City traffic violation lawyer, look no further than Phillip J. Murphy, Attorney at Law. Over the years, we have helped numerous defendants throughout New Jersey. A traffic stop can be annoying on its own, especially if it results in a traffic ticket. But if the traffic stop leads to more serious criminal charges, an effective defense strategy is absolutely critical. Book your consultation today.



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Phillip J. Murphy,
Attorney At Law
Free Consultations Calls Answered and returned 24/7 Phone: (845) 639-6600 Fax: (845) 639-6620

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10 Esquire Road, Suite 10
New City, New York 10956

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Phillip J. Murphy, Attorney At Law is located in New City, New York and serves clients in and around New York, New Jersey & Connecticut. Contact our experienced criminal defense law firm.
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