You know that the police are out there looking for reasons to stop drivers. You’ve heard that they often do it because they’re hoping to seize cash and other assets from cars when they think that a drug sale may have happened.
For instance, they find a minor reason to pull you over. They decide to search your car during the traffic stop. They find cash in the trunk, which they believe you got from selling drugs. They then take the money, even though you have not come close to being convicted of anything yet.
One of the main ways that they make these stops is by looking for drivers who are “following too closely.” After all, they do need a reason for the traffic stop or they can’t use the evidence they find in court.
So, what is following too closely and how can you avoid it? Essentially, it’s just tailgating.
The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration defines it as “one vehicle…following another vehicle so closely that…[they] could not avoid a collision” if the driver in front had to hit the brakes in an emergency. There’s not enough of a gap between the vehicles to allow them both to react and stop in time.
You can instantly see the problem with this definition: There’s no clear statement of how much space is too little. If the officer says he or she thought you were too close, that’s just a judgment call. It can lead to a traffic stop and the seizure of cash, so it’s a very serious call to make.
If you find yourself in this position, it’s crucial that you understand your legal defense options.