Investigative Stop In Georgia

"Although an officer may conduct a brief investigative stop of a vehicle, such a stop must be justified by 'specific and articulable facts which, taken together with rational inferences from those facts, reasonably warrant that intrusion.'" Vansant v. State, 264 Ga. 319, 320 (2) (443 SE2d 474) (1994). In considering the "'elusive concept'" of sufficient cause to authorize a stop, a court must determine whether the officer had sufficient "'particularized and objective'" information to suspect the detainee of criminal activity. Id. In Vansant, the only information the detaining officer had was that a suspected hit-and-run driver was in a white van. He had no particularized description of the vehicle, did not know which direction the vehicle was headed, and did not see the van driver commit any traffic violations while following it for half of a mile. Id. at 321. The Supreme Court of Georgia held that the lack of specific information led to an unreasonable governmental intrusion, and affirmed the trial court's grant of a motion to suppress. Id.