Late last year, MPR reported that Minnesota Lynx player Seimone Augustus was stopped for having an air freshener hanging from her rear-view mirror.
Now, technically, this is against the law. And as a result, the police can conduct a stop for any violation of the traffic laws, "however insignificant."State v. George, 557 N.W.2d 575, 578 (Minn. 1997).
As a practical matter, the police often use minor technical violations as a reason to stop a person in the hopes of getting information or evidence relating to a more serious matter.
As a Minnesota Criminal Defense Attorney, I can tell you that tiny infractions like this turn out to be BIG problems. Here are some (IMHO) helpful suggestions if you're stopped by law enforcement:
- Be polite and respectful;
- Do provide your identification and proof of insurance, if asked; and
- Understand that you do not have to answer incriminating questions or make statements admitting that you broke the law.