Police are allowed to stop drivers based on anonymous tips. The key question is whether the tip was reliable enough to provide probable cause for the stop.

The Supreme Court just made that job a lot easier for the prosecution. A recent case held that an anonymous tip was reliable where the caller accurately identified the vehicle and its license plate and stated that the driver had run her off the road. See Navarette v California. Previously, the law required police to witness some form of bad driving themselves. This is no longer necessary under the new case.

The court also held that an officer could reasonably conclude that a false tipster would think twice before using 911 because the system has certain technological and regulatory features.

If you are charged with a crime, contact an experienced DUI attorney immediately. An attorney can review the facts of your case to determine your best possible defense. Maybe the anonymous tip was not really reliable even under the newer standards. Or perhaps there was some other problem with how police conducted the stop. If so, an attorney may be able to petition the court to throw out the evidence from the stop.

Even if the evidence against you is overwhelming, an experienced attorney who is respected in the courthouse may be able to obtain a better plea agreement for you than you could on your own.

If you have questions about this or another related 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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