A vehicle that is in a high crime area at a late hour alone is not enough to rise to the level of reasonable suspicion that is required to make a traffic stop. The court will look at all the surrounding factors when making the determination whether reasonable suspicion exists and someone who is in a high crime hour at an unusual hour will be considered.
However just being in a high crime area at an unusual without more is not enough to justify a stop. State v. Blackstock, 165 N.C. App. 50 (2004). Here the court held that activity at an unusual hour is a factor to be considered but is not solely determinative)
Other factors in addition to being in a high crime area at an unusual hour that may justify a stop could include the defendant’s nervousness or evading police. This was seen in State v. Mellow, in which a defendant was in a known high-drug area and was acting evasively with respect to police presence. State v. Mellow, 200 N.C. App. 561 (200 .)
The court found that a stop was justified in this scenario. Essentially police can use the fact that someone is in a high crime area at a late hour but there must be some other factor in addition to that to support reasonable suspicion to stop that person.
If you should find yourself in an aforementioned situation where you have been charged with a DWI you need to contact an attorney who has the experience and knowledge necessary to handle your case with the care it deserves. At Robert J. Reeves, P.C., we defend DWIs so contact us directly at 704-499-9000 or toll-free 877-374-5999 for more information.