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When Can the Police Stop My Car?

People often ask the question about when the police can stop their car.

Can the police randomly stop just any car they don’t like, or do they need to have a valid reason?

The policemen’s actions must not be based on curiosity, personal beliefs or similar reasons, but on reasonable grounds. They must always have a specific reason for pulling the vehicle over and asking the driver to take a breath test, for example.

The Highway Traffic Act provides some of the reasons the police might want to stop a car, and these reasons include checking if the driver has a driving license, whether the vehicle is properly registered or if the vehicle works properly.


However, these common reasons still don’t grant the police the right to search the whole vehicle for, let’s say, drugs.

When Do I Need a Lawyer

Unreasonable search is a violation of a person’s right and that is why an experienced lawyer will always look for reasons for car and person search when going through the police report. If there was no valid reason, lawyers can build a good defense based on the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms and other legal bills. The Charter specifically states that “the right to be secure against unreasonable search and seizure” is guaranteed.

The best way to ensure your rights is to call a lawyer as soon as your vehicle has been stopped for search. Also, have in mind that any statement made to the police could give them a reason to search your car, so besides giving basic information about your identity, it is better to refrain from talking to the police without consulting with your lawyer first.

photo credit: Toronto Police Car via photopin (license)

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