Pretext Stops – Part 3: Vehicle Equipment Violations

King County Defense Attorney

This is the third part of my series on pretext stops. Here, we discuss the “vehicle equipment violation” reason for pulling over a driver. Sometimes, that is a legitimate reason for a stop; other times, it is merely a pretext to allow the officer to search the car for drugs or other contraband. If an officer stopped you for an alleged equipment violation, a consultation with an experienced King County defense attorney will help you determine whether that stop was lawful.
Equipment violations may warrant a stop by police when:

  • The car does not have a light around the license plate.
  • The car’s license plate is leaning against a tissue box inside the car’s back window.
  • The car’s license plate is partially hidden.
  • The car’s windows are tinted, in violation of the law.

However, in other similar circumstances, the stop may not be justified. These cases always turn on the factual details. Your King County defense attorney can analyze the facts of your situation in light of the controlling law, and advise you regarding your legal rights and options. If you are not current represented by a King County defense attorney, and you have questions or concerns about the legality of the traffic stop in your case, please contact me.

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