When Do Texas Police Have Reasonable Suspicion To Pull Someone Over?

When Do Texas Police Have Reasonable Suspicion To Pull Someone Over?
Jan 31, 2023 |

If you have been stopped and arrested for DWI, you may be able to challenge the stop by arguing that the police did not have reasonable suspicion to stop your vehicle. To successfully challenge the stop, you will need to show that the police officer did not have a valid reason for pulling you over. This defense can be challenging, so here’s a look at the basics and how to get legal help after a drunk driving arrest.


The reasonable suspicion standard is based on the Fourth Amendment of the United States Constitution, which protects citizens from unreasonable searches and seizures by the government. This states that lawful stops may only be conducted when law enforcement has enough evidence to reasonably suspect that a traffic violation or crime has been, is being, or is about to be committed.

The Supreme Court has held that reasonable suspicion is less than probable cause, but more than an ordinary hunch. To have reasonable suspicion, an officer must be able to point to specific and articulable facts that support the conclusion that a crime or traffic violation has occurred, is occurring, or is about to occur. This means that an officer cannot simply pull someone over because they “look suspicious.” There must be observable evidence that something illegal is happening.

Are Probable Cause And Reasonable Suspicion The Same?

No, probable cause and reasonable suspicion are not the same. Officers do not need as much evidence to just pull someone over as they do to make an arrest. An officer only needs reasonable suspicion to justify making a traffic stop, while they need to be able to prove that the higher standard of probable cause was met in the event that the individual was taken into police custody.

Fighting a DWI Based on Lack of Reasonable Suspicion

There are a few different ways to challenge a DWI stop based on a lack of reasonable suspicion. One way is to argue that the officer did not have a valid reason for pulling you over in the first place. For example, if an officer pulled you over for speeding but there was no radar or other evidence of your speed, you might be able to argue that the officer did not have enough reasonable suspicion to stop you.

If you or someone you love were arrested for driving under the influence or for another crime, and you believe the officer did not have reasonable suspicion to pull your vehicle over, contact Sugarland, TX criminal defense attorneys Segura & Kiatta today by dialing 281.570.6400.

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