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Vehicle Stops in Maine

Lawful stops in the State of Maine occur when an officer possess probable use to believe an individual violated a crime. The absence of probable cause will typically result in an unlawful stop. However, the State of Maine usually allows an officer to supply various reasons for stopping a vehicle. Yet, any officer’s inability to explain a stop will usually result in an unlawful stop and dismiss any charge the individual received from the stop. Additionally, lawful stops occur when individuals violate any traffic law or elude an officer. Finally, the State of Maine does not allow officers to merely possess a reasonable suspicion that a crime will occur but rather probable cause that a crime has occurred or is occurring.

An officer or a law enforcement official may lawfully stop vehicles that the law enforcement official has probable cause that the driver committed crime or is committing crime. Probable cause allows officers to stop vehicles to test individuals for operating a vehicle under the influence. However, the absence of probable cause will not allow an officer to stop a vehicle or test an individual for operating a vehicle under the influence. Basically, probable cause usually occurs when a driver is driving erratically, driving slowly, or merely creating actions that arouse probable cause.

The absence of probable cause will usually result in an unlawful vehicle stop. However, a judge may allow officer latitude in explaining a vehicle stop. An officer explanation of probable cause usually is a subjective evaluation and allows a judge to agree or disagree with the officer. Therefore, most vehicle stops are lawful but an officer’s inability to explain a vehicle stop will usually result in an unlawful vehicle stop.

Further, a vehicle stopped for violating a traffic law will result in a lawful vehicle stop. Any vehicle violating a traffic law such as speeding, signaling within a signal, or failing to stop at a stop sign will allow an officer to stop a vehicle. Further, any vehicle stopped for a moving violation will allow an officer to evaluate the driver. Any driver that appears to be operating a vehicle under the influence will allow an officer to test an individual for operating a vehicle under the influence.

Therefore, lawful vehicle stops in the State of Maine occur when an officer has probable cause or an individual violates a traffic law. The absence of probable cause will usually lead to an unlawful vehicle stop. However, an officer’s explanation of a vehicle stop may allow a judge to find a stop lawful. Finally, any driver violating a traffic law will allow an officer to view an individual smelling of alcohol or exhibiting signs that the driver was under the influence.


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