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iowa

Question for cops, lawyers, Aggiedave

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Having the bi-annual dinner with some family yesterday, my nieces' husband is a sheriffs deputy and I ask him if he recognized me on the way to work one morning.

He said he thought it was me but ran the plates anyway. He said he does that for EVERY car he meets that he can catch the plate #. Also says he catches a lot of suspended drivers, warrants, etc... that way.

I have nothing to hide but, the driver isn't necessarily the registered owner. Sounds like a Big Brother way of keeping an eye on all of us.

The question is: Is that probable cause for pulling a car over?

Keith

''Always do sober what you said you would do drunk. That will teach you to keep your mouth shut.'' - Ernest Hemingway

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Interesting question.

It piqued my curiosity (I like having a solid understanding of what the cops can and cannot do to me) so I looked around and found this:

http://policelink.monster.com/training/articles/4529-does-a-motorist-have-a-privacy-interest-in-their-license-plate

Apparently they can.

Be careful whose car you borrow.:P
"There are NO situations which do not call for a French Maid outfit." Lucky McSwervy

"~ya don't GET old by being weak & stupid!" - Airtwardo

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There is no legal problem with running plates for wants/warrants, since there is no reasonable expectation of privacy in a license plate. An outstanding warrant or suspended license would be at least reasonable suspicion that criminal activity may be afoot allowing for an investigative (Terry) stop. You're right the driver is not necessarily always the registered owner, but usually is.
Blue Skies,
Adam
I fly because it releases my mind from the tyranny of petty things . . . — Antoine de Saint-Exupéry

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Very good question. In Illinois, there is a presumption that the owner of a car is its driver. If a cop runs someone's plates and determines that the registered owner is unlicensed, that is indeed probable cause to pull the vehicle over. The law is similar in most other states to the best of my knowledge. The courts have found exceptions to this presumption where the registered owner is, for example, a 65 year old female and the driver is a 20 year old male and the cop can easily see this. The general rule, though, is that where the registered owner has a suspended or revoked license, there is probable cause to pull the vehicle over.

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The solution is to not be a dumbfuck and break the law.



You are missing the point of Iowa's question. You could be following the law entirely and get pulled over if, for example, you are driving your buddy's car and his license is suspended. Your buddy is the "dumbfuck" who broke the law, but you, who are not breaking the law, get pulled over. Most people don't like to be stopped by the police when they have done nothing wrong.

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The solution is to not be a dumbfuck and break the law.



Is that really possible in this country???

The amount of idiotic obscure laws out there is mind boggling.. and for most people if the police want to screw with someone.. they can find something to harrass someone with.

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Most people don't like to be stopped by the police when they have done nothing wrong.



Seems to me that there would be "probable cause" to pull one over when a car registered to a driver whose license has been suspended is spotted being driven.

If that driver has done nothing wrong he's got nothing to worry about. "Have a nice day sir."

jon

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We are veering into SC territory here, and the mods may move this thread. Which is not such a bad thing. It's an interesting issue.

I personally don't want the police stopping me if I've done nothing wrong. I don't want a "have a nice day" from a cop after being pulled over and having to show my license and insurance card. I'd rather the cop left me alone if I was doing nothing wrong. My guess is that most people feel the same way. But the law as it stands is that there is PC in such a situation. And maybe you are OK with being stopped by the police when you haven't done anything wrong. The usual idea, though, is that we don't allow cops to hassle people who haven't broken the law. I concede that there is PC here, I just don't like it.

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The solution is to not be a dumbfuck and break the law.



You are missing the point of Iowa's question. You could be following the law entirely and get pulled over if, for example, you are driving your buddy's car and his license is suspended. Your buddy is the "dumbfuck" who broke the law, but you, who are not breaking the law, get pulled over. Most people don't like to be stopped by the police when they have done nothing wrong.



So stop promptly, hands at 11 and 1, show license and insurance, answer questions honestly without waiving 5th Amd privileges, and you'll be fine. Unless you are a dumbfuck who's broken the law, in which case--fuck you, welcome to jail.

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Most people don't like to be stopped by the police when they have done nothing wrong.



Seems to me that there would be "probable cause" to pull one over when a car registered to a driver whose license has been suspended is spotted being driven.

If that driver has done nothing wrong he's got nothing to worry about. "Have a nice day sir."

jon



In Texas vehicles have to pass a yearly inspection (brakes, lights and the such). There is also a yearly registration. Both of which are stickers on the windshield that I can typically read accurately in opposing traffic while traveling up to 60mph.

On occasion I read one incorrectly and after walking up to the car I see the sticker is in date the typical phrase is "I apologize, I misread the Registration/Inspection sticker on your windshield, thank you for stopping and have a better day." No identification is asked for and no further investigation occurs since although the stop was conducted in good faith, it is obvious that the PC for the stop is no longer valid and I can not continue.

Although if I walk up on the vehicle and there is a plain view violation, then I can continue. Here are some real world examples of plain view violations I've found walking up to car: driver has a marijuana cigar (a blunt) smoldering in the ash tray, there are children in the vehicle not secured in a required safety seat and open containers of alcohol.
--"When I die, may I be surrounded by scattered chrome and burning gasoline."

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The solution is to not be a dumbfuck and break the law.



You are missing the point of Iowa's question. You could be following the law entirely and get pulled over if, for example, you are driving your buddy's car and his license is suspended. Your buddy is the "dumbfuck" who broke the law, but you, who are not breaking the law, get pulled over. Most people don't like to be stopped by the police when they have done nothing wrong.



So stop promptly, hands at 11 and 1, show license and insurance, answer questions honestly without waiving 5th Amd privileges, and you'll be fine. Unless you are a dumbfuck who's broken the law, in which case--fuck you, welcome to jail.



You Vill Sho us your PAPERS... JAH?

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It's not the norm to run every plate. There usually has to be something that arouses suspicion (like drifting all over the lane, tailgating etc.) They are also looking for things like expired tags or inspection stickers, defective equipment etc. Keep in mind all the PD's get lists of what licenses are under in their jurisdiction plus vehicle descriptions of wanted people or vehicles seen at crime scenes etc. Before anyone gets annoyed by these laws, remember it's not the police who make the laws, they are just the ones who have to enforce them and get a lot of crap for it.

That being said, regardless of if they run the plate, they have to have a valid reason to pull you over. For instance, say someone reports a drunk driver - they can't just pull them over (unless there is a witness who will testify to seeing that person do something). Otherwise they have to drive behind them to observe erratic op first. However, if you should be pulled over for expired tags and they smell alcohol then you'll be doing a sobriety test.

Please keep in mind that while there are bad apples in every group, in general officers are not power mad and out to get you. They want to help people which is why they got the job. It's certainly not for the bennies unless you consider being out in the blazing sun or pouring rain or snow, handling the most atrocious things people do to each other on a daily basis, dealing with every disaster and not being able to tend to their own family, nevermind the messed up shifts and missing out on a lot of family, friends and fun to be attractive benefits.

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It's certainly not for the bennies unless you consider being out in the blazing sun or pouring rain or snow, handling the most atrocious things people do to each other on a daily basis, dealing with every disaster and not being able to tend to their own family, nevermind the messed up shifts and missing out on a lot of family, friends and fun to be attractive benefits.



I'm on a motor and got no-shit heat stroke twice this summer. 115F in a full uniform, with vest, boots, helmet and motorcycle will get to you during a full day's shift. Someone this summer actually called to complain that I was all sweaty looking while making a contact.
--"When I die, may I be surrounded by scattered chrome and burning gasoline."

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You Vill Sho us your PAPERS... JAH?



You mean like the National ID you advocate?



Are you still worried about that whole 666 tatoo on your forhead thing...



Nice try... but another HUGE FAIL from the usual suspect... but since you know squat about me.... you can be forgiven no matter how delusional your rant is.
Mike
I love you, Shannon and Jim.
POPS 9708 , SCR 14706

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You Vill Sho us your PAPERS... JAH?



You mean like the National ID you advocate?



Are you still worried about that whole 666 tatoo on your forhead thing...



Nice try... but another HUGE FAIL from the usual suspect... but since you know squat about me.... you can be forgiven no matter how delusional your rant is.



QUACK QUACK QUACK


Just waddle on along Duckie

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The solution is to not be a dumbfuck and break the law.



You are missing the point of Iowa's question. You could be following the law entirely and get pulled over if, for example, you are driving your buddy's car and his license is suspended. Your buddy is the "dumbfuck" who broke the law, but you, who are not breaking the law, get pulled over. Most people don't like to be stopped by the police when they have done nothing wrong.



So stop promptly, hands at 11 and 1, show license and insurance, answer questions honestly without waiving 5th Amd privileges, and you'll be fine. Unless you are a dumbfuck who's broken the law, in which case--fuck you, welcome to jail.



If I've done nothing wrong, I don't want to have to deal with the cops. And, more importantly, if I've done nothing wrong, the cops have no business stopping me. Go find some criminals. Leave me alone.

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I don't like cops. I've never even had a moving violation. But when I have been stopped, I've been courteous and honest.

Because a cop has power and I'd prefer he not exercise it. Piss off a cop and a Constitutional violation may ensue. Who knows, a few months and a few grand later and it might all be settled.

Naw. I'd rather just suck it up and let the cop see I haven't done anything. IT's why they let me go. I don't bitch or complain.


My wife is hotter than your wife.

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I've done nothing wrong, the cops have no business stopping me. Go find some criminals. Leave me alone.



Driving a car with expired plates/tags whatever is doing something wrong. Seems unreasonable to expect to be left alone.
People are sick and tired of being told that ordinary and decent people are fed up in this country with being sick and tired. I’m certainly not, and I’m sick and tired of being told that I am

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I don't like cops. I've never even had a moving violation. But when I have been stopped, I've been courteous and honest.

Because a cop has power and I'd prefer he not exercise it. Piss off a cop and a Constitutional violation may ensue. Who knows, a few months and a few grand later and it might all be settled.

Naw. I'd rather just suck it up and let the cop see I haven't done anything. IT's why they let me go. I don't bitch or complain.



This, and the fact that even if his arrest/stop is not legitimate, resisting is still a crime.

As for the "Go stop real criminals" line. That needs to go away yesterday. Many "real criminals" have been stopped on traffic offenses. Besides, an officer does NOT need to be 100% sure you have committed a crime to detain you for questioning, he needs only probably cause that you have committed a crime. Registered owner of the car has a suspended/revoked license and the car is on the road? Unless it is obvious you aren't the registered owner from outside the vehicle, which it isn't... that constitutes probable cause to believe that an offense is being committed. If the officer determines that in fact no offense has been committed (driver of the car is not the registered owner and has a license), the officer releases you and you are free to go.

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