This is the next post in our series on handling traffic warrants in Little Rock, Arkansas. Our last article discussed the need to deal with traffic warrants immediately. It’s important to understand that having a warrant can lead to the suspension of your driver’s license, your being disallowed from boarding an airplane, and charges of driving on a suspended license if you are caught. Driving on a suspended license, in turn, can lead to a permanent criminal record. If you believe you have an outstanding warrant then contact our office today to speak with a criminal defense attorney. In this article we will discuss how not dealing with a warrant can lead to one being arrested from other charges.
The United States Constitution permits police officers to stop your vehicle if they have “reasonable suspicion” that you are engaged in criminal activity. Under this authority they may pull you over if they run your plates and see that you have a warrant out for your arrest. Once you have been pulled over then law enforcement may order you out of the car and search your person in order to protect the safety of the officers. If, while searching your person, they find drugs, a gun, or evidence of another crime then they may arrest you and investigate the matter further. Police may also expand the purpose of the stop if they view contraband in “plain sight” after you have been pulled over (an example being someone who has something illegal on their passenger seat). It is common in criminal law for serious charges to be brought as a result of someone being stopped for a traffic warrant.
It is important to understand that the police do not have an open license to search your entire car simply because they stopped you for a traffic warrant. The law regarding vehicle searches is complex and whether the police violated your Fourth Amendment rights is typically going to be a situation specific question. An experienced lawyer will review the police reports, witness statements, and other evidence and determine whether it is possible to challenge the admission of any evidence which was obtained during the course of the stop. If you find yourself arrested on serious charges, after having been stopped due to a warrant, then it is important that you contact counsel immediately.
Our Little Rock attorneys have over twenty-five years of combined experience in the area of criminal defense. We have handled many cases involving the stop of a vehicle and are ready to assist you. Contact us today to schedule an initial consultation. We also handle matters in Fayetteville, Fort Smith, Springdale, Jonesboro, North Little Rock, Conway, Rogers, Pine Bluff and throughout the rest of the state.