In most situations, the answer is yes.

Police need probable cause before they can stop your car for a suspected offense. Violating even a minor traffic law can be enough. Furthermore, police may conduct a brief, investigatory stop where the officer reasonably believes that you have committed, or are about to commit, a crime, which includes traffic violations.

For example, in People v. Edwards, the defendant violated a Chicago municipal law that prohibited drivers from unreasonably obstructing traffic. The defendant’s car had been running with its headlights on about three to six feet off the curb. This violation was enough to support probable cause.

If you have been charged with a traffic or criminal offense, contact an experienced attorney immediately. An attorney, who is familiar with the courthouse, can review your case for its best possible defense. For example, the defendant in the above case argued that his car was not unreasonably obstructive because there had been little traffic.  While the court rejected that argument, a different judge with a slight change in the facts could have resulted in a different conclusion.

If you have questions about this or another related Illinois criminal or traffic matter, please contact Matt Keenan at 847-568-0160 or email

(Besides Skokie, Matt Keenan also serves the communities of Arlington Heights, Chicago, Deerfield, Des Plaines, Evanston, Glenview, Morton Grove, Mount Prospect, Niles, Northbrook, Park Ridge, Rolling Meadows, Wilmette and Winnetka.)


About mdkeenan

A criminal and school law attorney with over 17 years of experience, I have successfully represented clients all over the Chicago area. My practice includes DUI, felony, criminal, misdemeanor, homicide, internet crime, retail theft, traffic offenses, cyberstalking, drug crimes, weapons violations, domestic battery and juvenile crime. I also represent families involving school cases. My clients come from all over the Chicago area including Skokie, Wilmette, Niles, Northbrook, Glenview, Evanston, Winnetka, Highland park, Northfield, Park Ridge, Des Plaines and Mount Prospect. I am a member of the ACLU and the Illinois State Bar Association. I serve as a volunteer for First Defense Legal Aid. Se habla espanol.
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