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Cody W. Dowden, Attorney at Law

AR Court of Appeals - April 6, 2016

Millsap v. State - probable cause to initiate a traffic stop - affirmed

Arkansas law requires police to have probable cause to make a traffic stop. Normally probable cause is achieved when police personally observe a traffic violation. However, Rule 3.1 of the Arkansas Rules of Criminal Procedure allows an officer to stop someone when the officer has reasonable suspicion that the person "is committing, has committed, or is about to commit" a felony or misdemeaor that involves the danger of forceable injury or damage to property.

Here, officers used an informant to sell Millsap drugs, then used another officer to pull him over. Even though no traffic violation was observed, the information from the informant made the stop okay.