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A plainclothes police officer in an unmarked car was parked on the Interstate 95 approach to the George Washington Bridge recently when he allegedly observed a vehicle driving along the shoulder to pass heavy, slow traffic.

For the driver of the vehicle, what started out as a routine traffic stop, ended in significantly more serious charges, including impersonating a police officer.

When the plainclothes police officer made the initial stop, the driver allegedly identified himself as a police officer with the New York City Sanitation department and produced a badge and an identification card that had reportedly expired a few months prior.

The officer on the scene confirmed his apparent suspicion that the driver of the vehicle was not an actual police officer. He then had the man vacate his vehicle, which was subsequently searched. As a result of the police search the man is now facing weapons charges as well as charges stemming from the invalid police identification he showed the officer who pulled him over. However, it is likely that none of these charges would have ever been filed if not for the improper passing violation for which the driver was initially stopped.

Charges such as these can have serious long-term consequences for defendants, and the criminal justice system can be very confusing and intimidating for those who are not familiar with criminal procedure. That is why it is highly recommended for defendants to have the assistance of a criminal defense attorney during a trial or plea negotiations.

A criminal defense attorney may thoroughly explain the process to defendants, and provide necessary information needed, in order for the accused to make an informed decision about his or her defense.

Source:, "Fort Lee cops say police imposter caught after traffic stop near GWB," Jim Norman, June 23, 2014

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