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Roger
Roger, Lawyer
Category: Criminal Law
Satisfied Customers: 26589
Experience:  BV Rated by Martindale-Hubbell; SuperLawyer rating by Thompson-Reuters
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I know that an officer must have probable cause in order to

Customer Question

I know that an officer must have probable cause in order to pull a vehicle over. My brother is facing a dui charge. His ex wife hired a PI to follow him. And the PI videoed him having some drinks at a restaurant. He falsifies a 911 call (I obtained copy of call.) saying that he is following a drunk driver, etc. Actually, it has become known (but no way to prove) that he had already informed officer that he would have someone for him to arrest later. Officer was waiting across the street of the restaurant for my brother to leave. The 911 call was just the coverup of any relation between the cop and the PI.

My brother is pulled over for speeding. But immediately questioned about drinking, etc. The officer's report only states that he notices the car speeding, etc.. Speeding is not shown on the video from the officer's car. It only shows my brother turning down his street which was a mile away from the restaurant. No swerving. Nothing. My question is, a police officer doesn't have to prove that he had the probable cause to pull him over does he? No traffic violation is shown on the video, nothing.

As additional information. My brother did not blow or do field sobriety test. He was supposed to have his daughter that night and at last minute ex wife said no. She had set it up. There was a GPS on his car (tow truck driver told us that). He had in fact had some drinks, but said he was not impaired, but afraid to blow. His wife had told him she would make it so that he would not see their daughter. She filed for modification of visitation two days later.
Submitted: 10 months ago.
Category: Criminal Law
Expert:  Roger replied 10 months ago.

Roger : Hi - my name is XXXXX XXXXX I'm a Criminal Law litigation attorney. Thanks for your question. I'll be glad to assist.
Roger : As for probable cause, YES the officer must prove that he had probable cause to believe that something illegal was occurring in order to stop your brother.
Customer:

Is it sufficient to say suspect was speeding. Is it just automatically taken as the truth.

Roger : When the matter goes to court, the officer will have to provide the judge with what his probable cause was.
Roger : If the officer says that he pulled him over for speeding, he'd have to provide a basis for his answer.
Customer:

The PI had actually called in and made up a story, but gave the truck description and license plate. Officer never mentioned this in his report. Have other sources that have made me aware that he was looking for the truck. Actually said he waiting across the street. So he could falsify that he was speeding in an effort to pull him over.

Roger : Either he'd have to provide a radar reading or he could say that based on his training and experience he believed that the vehicle was traveling at a rate of speed higher than the posted limit.
Customer:

When you say provide a radar reading. Is their some sort of "time stamp" or something that verifies what the speed was when we saw the vehicle? Because his video of the traffic stop does not show him speeding..

Roger : It depends on the equipment in the officer's vehicle.
Roger : Some radars keep a catalogue of readings, and some don't.
Roger : USUALLY, the officer testifies that his radar read that the person was traveling at ____MPH and that his radar is properly calibrated, and that's sufficient for the judge.
Customer:

so it could simply be his word? If the police officer had instructed the PI to call in the 911 call to cover their knowing each other, would that discredit the police officer.

Roger : Yes, it could.
Customer:

Since a PI is licensed through SLED, wouldn't it be wrong for a PI to make a false 911 call.

Roger : Officers are charged with acting honestly and with integrity, so the court is going to give him the benefit of the doubt on a judgment call.
Customer:

They are bringing in the PI to testify. So is it possible to have his information and testimony thrown out based on the false 911 call.

Roger : If the PI made a 911 call to report a possible dunk driver, it could be that the PI could be charged with filing a false report IF it turned out to be false.
Roger : However, if the report wasn't false and the report resulted in a DUI charge, it may be a tough position to claim that the call was fake.
Customer:

That's very easy to show. He submitted his report with pictures for a family court case. Showing my brother sitting at the restaurant while the PI filmed him. The 911 call is made at the same time he is sitting at the restaurant, saying that he is following a drunk driver that has just pulled into a restaurant. That he is a concerned citizen. He made that call as my brother was about to leave.

Customer:

The whole thing is crooked. And its sad that people who are supposed to be truth seekers and tellers, can get away with such nonsense.

Roger : It is not likely that the charges against your brother would be affected by the PI's actions. If the call was made, then the officer had probable cause that that point to investigate the matter.
Roger : If the PI made a false call, the he could be prosecuted for that, but that's not going to affect the charge and the probable caused established by the call.
Customer:

Yes the call was made, but I read that a police officer cannot use a 911 call solely as probable cause.

Roger : The oofficer must investigate a 911 call.
Customer:

No, but this cop is shady and a jerk. And it is known. He is the number 1 DUI cop in the state, but has recently been transferred for "shady" dealings. And the office makes sure not to mention the BOLO, he makes it that he just happened to see him speeding. If its proven the cop and the PI had a "deal" between them, could that help the case??

Roger : If you can prove that this was a set-up, it certainly could help. BUT, it's still going to be tough if the call resulted in a charge related to the call.
Customer:

ok, thank you for your help.

Roger, Lawyer
Category: Criminal Law
Satisfied Customers: 26589
Experience: BV Rated by Martindale-Hubbell; SuperLawyer rating by Thompson-Reuters
Roger and 7 other Criminal Law Specialists are ready to help you

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