Escalated Traffic Violation – How Getting Pulled Over can Lead to Serious Criminal Charges

April 22, 2022 Criminal Defense

Not everyone is a perfect driver all the time. The state of Florida has specific traffic laws in place to ensure that there is safety on the roads. Police officers will often complete traffic stops for violations of traffic laws.

If you have completed a traffic violation and get pulled over, it is important to know your rights. A police officer may try to search your vehicle, which could potentially lead to more severe charges. In one recent case from Leon County, a man’s failure to complete a full stop resulted in several serious criminal charges.

We will cover the basics of traffic violations as well as the example case.

Traffic Violations

An individual is completing a traffic violation when they are not actively following the rules of the road. This can be as small as not fully stopping at a stop sign, or as severe as vehicular manslaughter. Florida has various laws for driving, with individual penalties if violated. 

It is not uncommon for police officers to use K-9 dogs during a routine traffic stop. If this occurs it is likely that the K-9 dog will sniff your vehicle for any illegal substances. This can turn a small traffic violation into much more severe criminal charges.

It is important to have full knowledge of the different types of traffic violations in Florida, along with their penalties and potential defenses. To read more about common traffic violations in Florida, find our blog here.

What is the Special Investigations Detection Enforcement Response Unit?

Leon County Sheriff’s Office has an investigative unit comprised of both uniformed and undercover deputies. Under the name Special Projects Investigations Detection Enforcement and Response Unit (S.P.I.D.E.R.) they use intelligence driven data to target or  attempt to target certain types of criminal activity.

The unit engages in door-to-door questioning and speaking with local residents, as well as using covert surveillance and directed patrol. The specific detectives in SPIDER focus on specific targets based on areas of interest, ongoing investigations, and intelligence. The officers who are not undercover maintain high risk traffic stops and tactical operations.

Example Case

On November 17th, 2021, Kenyattea Jaquan Anthony, 25, was pulled over by Leon County police for failing to come to a complete stop at a stop sign. Authorities witnessed Anthony continue to drive forward in his white Dodge Charger without stopping completely. The police pulled him over for a routine traffic stop.

During the conduction of the traffic stop, law enforcement officers found a loaded 9 mm semi-automatic pistol, along with $2,500 in cash. After continuing the search police uncovered about 51 grams of marijuana that was wrapped up in a plastic bag, along with a scale, rolling tray, and plastic bags filled inside of a box. Police arrested Anthony on the charges of possession of marijuana with the intent to sell, possession of a concealed firearm, and possession of a firearm by a convicted felon.

What to Do if You’re Pulled Over

Getting pulled over by the police can be an extremely nerve-racking situation. You may feel anxious and nervous about what to say or do. The most important thing to remember is to stay calm. You may feel like you have to answer every question the officer asks, but it’s important to remember that you are still entitled to your rights. To read more about what to do when you’re pulled over, find our blog here.

Finding a Defense Attorney in Tallahassee, Florida

In the event that you are pulled over by the police for a traffic stop, it is important to understand your rights. One routine stop can lead to a more serious charge if the police find something inside your vehicle. By working with a skilled Florida defense attorney, you can fully understand your rights and the possible defense in the case that you get charged with a crime after getting pulled over. Don Pumphrey and his team at Pumphrey Law Firm have represented clients for various crimes all across Florida. They understand the importance of strategizing a strong defense to your case. Call (850) 681-7777 or leave an online message today to receive a free consultation.

Written by Karissa Key

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