Anonymous Tips: Unlawful Basis for a Stop in some States
In certain States, courts have held that a DUI stop based on an anonymous tip cannot constitute the reasonable suspicion standard required to detain a vehicle. The following is a brief explanation of three of the States where this issue has been discussed. For more information, contact an Orange County DUI attorney.
In Texas, an anonymous tip was received stating that a red pickup truck was travelling in the wrong direction on a freeway. Nothing was known about the tipster, but a red pickup truck was stopped based on the tip. The Texas court found that a police officer could not rely on an anonymous tip alone to establish reasonable suspicion and that such tips should be received with caution.
In a case in Georgia, the court found that an anonymous tip received without specific details was insufficient to justify a DUI stop. The tip provided almost nothing by which its veracity or reliability could be established. There was no way to determine whether the caller was honest or the basis for the caller’s prediction about the suspect’s criminal activities. An Orange County DUI attorney will fight for your right to contest the legality of your police stop.
An Indiana case offered an interesting hybrid situation. Here, the police received a tip from an individual informing dispatch that a vehicle was being driven recklessly. The tipster was not anonymous as the dispatcher knew the individual’s name, but the police were unable to confirm the person’s identity. The court found that this stop was illegal because the police did not know whether the tip was genuine or whether there existed ulterior motives (such as a prank).
If you have been cited for a DUI based on an anonymous tip, or to discuss your DUI case generally, contact Orange County DUI attorney Mike Coffey today.