Third Tier Encounters

(This is an arrest)

A third tier encounter is a full blown arrest. In order to arrest you, the officer must have more than a Reasonable Articulable Suspicion. He must have Probable Cause to believe that you are committing a crime. For example, if the stop is legal and if the search is legal, the discovery of contraband will lead to an arrest.

An example of a legal traffic stop is having a headlight out at night. If, after stopping you, the officer discovers that your driver's license is suspended, he can arrest you and search you and your vehicle because of the arrest. Or if the officer smells an odor of burnt marijuana coming from your car, he has probable cause to search your car. Or if you say or do anything that raises the officer's suspicions, he could ask for your permission to search you or your vehicle (never give consent - never).

In any event, if the search produces what appears to be contraband, then probable cause to arrest for possession of that contraband exists.

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