Traffic Ticket for Failure to Stop at a “Non-Existent” Stop Line?

Written by Gregory Monte.

Jorge Sanchez was pulled over for violating the “stop bar” statute in Florida: 316.123 Vehicle entering stop or yield intersection

“Except when directed to proceed by a police officer or traffic control signal, every driver of a vehicle approaching a stop intersection indicated by a stop sign shall stop at a clearly marked stop line …”

Here is how it all went down:

Two Florida police officers were looking for a way to stop Mr. Sanchez because they thought he had drugs in his car so …

“Deputy Steuerwald asked his colleague Sgt. Beuer to ‘develop his own probable cause and conduct a traffic stop on the car’ … Sgt. Beuer did so—or at least he thought he did (more on this later)—and pulled Sanchez over for violating the Florida ‘stop bar’ statute.”

The only problem was that there was no stop bar at the intersection in question.

What’s that, a cop made something up in order to collar a suspect? 

Perish the thought!  Cops don’t do this sort of thing right?  They are bastions of goodness and never lie about anything …

Of course, I have written about cops “testilying” before as you can read about in the following posts from last year:

But back to the case at hand …

Sergeant Beuer did stop Sanchez and gave him a written warning for failure to stop at the intersection of Skelly Drive and Florida Avenue.

But as the judge’s opinion rightly pointed out:

“Unfortunately for Sgt.Beuer, there was no stop bar at the intersection, a fact both he and the Government now concede.”

The photo at the top of this post shows the intersection in question.

The judge concludes as follows:

“In short, it was not objectively reasonable for Sgt. Beuer to believe that Sanchez violated Florida Statute §316.123 by failing to stop at a stop bar that not only was not there, but where there was nothing about this intersection to suggest it would be there—quite the contrary.”

My thanks to the National Motorists Association for alerting me to this story. 

Free Resources

The Basic Speeding Ticket Defense

This is a 9 page review of the most basic way to beat a speeding ticket – even if you actually were speeding. This particular strategy will almost always work, but it does depend on one aspect of the circumstances surrounding your ticket.  For the strategy to be effective, there must be an issue with the speed limit signs, themselves. It’s all about the need of states/localities to comply with their “Obedience to Traffic Control Devices” statutes.

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Applying the Traffic Ticket Defense Method to Challenge a Citation.

This is a seven-page, detailed explanation of my three-step method for challenging any traffic ticket. I use the “Driving at a Safe Speed” statute from Pennsylvania to illustrate this method, but it can be applied to any other statute that you might be cited for in the vehicle code.

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The Pennsylvania Stop Sign Defense Strategy in a Nutshell.

This is a one-page, eight-point summary of the strategy I discovered while researching ways of beating unfair stop sign tickets. It is specifically geared to Pennsylvania but can also be applied to most other states.

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My Son’s Opening Trial Statement at the Court of Common Pleas.

This is an elegant, one-page, powerfully concise expression of my defense strategy.

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The Brief – My Son’s Case Brief for the Court of Common Pleas

  • An eighteen-page argument for why an illegal stop sign is not enforceable.
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