Legal Question in Traffic Law in Pennsylvania

Fraudulent Traffic Stop

In PA if a motor vehicle displays a expired (4/07) registration sticker on the license plate (stopped by officer on 8/07) is that sufficient probable cause for the Officer to conduct a traffic stop? I was not stopped for this, the officer claimed I ran a clear red signal at a 4 way intersection and subsequently issued a ticket for expired registration, and expired inspection on a vehicle that I did not own. I have a pristine driving record 15 years free from any sort of violation. I plead not guilty, How should I challenge the traffic stop?

Asked on 9/26/07, 10:08 pm

1 Answer from Attorneys

Roger Traversa Arjont Group (Law Office of Roger Traversa)

Re: Fraudulent Traffic Stop

You asked about a traffic stop.

An expired registration sticker has been found to be a sufficient probable cause to stop a vehicle. Moreover a driver is responsible for the status of a vehicle s/he is operating. Or would you suggest that an operator was not responsible for operating a vehicle with faulty brakes or bald tires?

You can challenge the traffic stop, but in a dispute between a LEO and a civilian a judge will usually side with the LEO. If you can produce a witness or demonstrate that the officer's testimony is improbable then you may prevail. Sometimes a prosecutor will nolle administrative tickets if a party can demonstrate that the matter has been corrected. Otherwise, you should feel lucky as an expired registration is sufficient to force a vehicle off of the road immediately.

As they say, just because a person has been caught doesn't mean they're innocent.



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Answered on 9/26/07, 10:40 pm

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