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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Aug 2013
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    5

    Default Can an Officer Investigate Other Drivers if a Plate is Valid

    My question involves police conduct in the State of: Michigan
    A officer decided to run just a random check on my license plate as the vehicle was being driven on the road. The check came back great, then the officer decided to run a check and see who else lived at that residence with me ( which I did not know they could do ) and seen my husband lived there also, so the police report stated he ran a check on his name and he seen he had a suspended license, so he ask for a description of my husband and he pulled the vehicle over to see if he was driving the vehicle and unfortunately he was. So my question is, is this a legal stop and when the check came back good why did he have the right to further check further into my personal information. This information was all in the police report and there was absolutely no other traffic infractions involved at all. Any insight would be greatly appreciated. sincerely Violated

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Sep 2005
    Location
    California
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    Default Re: Probable Cause

    Quote Quoting violated
    View Post
    My question involves police conduct in the State of: Michigan
    A officer decided to run just a random check on my license plate as the vehicle was being driven on the road. The check came back great, then the officer decided to run a check and see who else lived at that residence with me ( which I did not know they could do ) and seen my husband lived there also, so the police report stated he ran a check on his name and he seen he had a suspended license, so he ask for a description of my husband and he pulled the vehicle over to see if he was driving the vehicle and unfortunately he was. So my question is, is this a legal stop and when the check came back good why did he have the right to further check further into my personal information. This information was all in the police report and there was absolutely no other traffic infractions involved at all. Any insight would be greatly appreciated. sincerely Violated
    An officer generally needs no specific, articulable cause to run a check on someone ... so long as it is for a lawful purpose (as opposed to seeking a date, for instance).

    I cannot say whether your local courts will see that the name of a registered owner or a co-resident and a general description is sufficient to justify a detention. This can vary by state and jurisdiction, and will depend on the details provided by the officer. If it is worth the expense of an attorney and a court challenge, give it a go.
    A Nor Cal Cop Sergeant

    "Make mine a double mocha ...
    And a croissant!"


    Seek justice,
    Love mercy,
    Walk humbly with your God

    -- Courageous, by Casting Crowns

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Sep 2011
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    OH10
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    14,284

    Default Re: Probable Cause

    I have heard of this happening many times. Your husband is free to argue a man fitting his description and likely suspended DL photo, driving your car, is not probable cause. The heart of the issue is this "a random stop of a motorist in the absence of specific articulable facts which justify the stop by indicating a reasonable suspicion that a violation of the law has occurred is constitutionally impermissible and violate of the Fourth and Fourteenth Amendments to the United States Constitution." The officer can clearly articulate his reasonable suspicion IMO. The only relevant case I have found I believe supports the officers contention on the basis it was your car. Had it been registered to another person, unless the officer could specifically identify your hubby, he would have no probable cause.

    http://scholar.google.com/scholar_ca...en&as_sdt=2,36
    Dear Santa. For Xmas this year I want a fat bank account and a slim body. Please don't mix them up again.
    Why do stores in the US have so many undocumented shoppers?

  4. #4
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    Aug 2013
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    5

    Default Re: Probable Cause

    This officer ran a license plate check on my vehicle and it's in my name only, he also had to do some heavy checking to find out who else resided with me and what his history is , I personally feel so violated that my driving record is good and he just keep checking and for no known reason.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Sep 2005
    Location
    California
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    Default Re: Probable Cause

    Quote Quoting violated
    View Post
    This officer ran a license plate check on my vehicle and it's in my name only, he also had to do some heavy checking to find out who else resided with me and what his history is , I personally feel so violated that my driving record is good and he just keep checking and for no known reason.
    What you personally feel has nothing to do with the law. The law does not limit a records check to someone in front of the officer.
    A Nor Cal Cop Sergeant

    "Make mine a double mocha ...
    And a croissant!"


    Seek justice,
    Love mercy,
    Walk humbly with your God

    -- Courageous, by Casting Crowns

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Sep 2011
    Location
    OH10
    Posts
    14,284

    Default Re: Probable Cause

    On the other hand, his diligence gave a serious hit to a criminal and his spouse who negligently entrusted him with the vehicle. If the officer had been thorough, he would have cited you also.

    Quote Quoting violated
    View Post
    This officer ran a license plate check on my vehicle and it's in my name only, he also had to do some heavy checking to find out who else resided with me and what his history is , I personally feel so violated that my driving record is good and he just keep checking and for no known reason.
    Dear Santa. For Xmas this year I want a fat bank account and a slim body. Please don't mix them up again.
    Why do stores in the US have so many undocumented shoppers?

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Aug 2013
    Posts
    5

    Default Re: Probable Cause

    So your saying when there is no traffic infraction and the random check comes back good they have the right to keep checking for no reason. I understand my husband was totally wrong I did not entrust him with my vehicle there was an emergency that arose when I was at work and this was his choice to make. I fully understand this is the consequence for his poor choice. I am very sure he will be punished for his actions and he has no one but his self to blame for that. So please be assured this is not some sadden wife trying to make some pathetic attempt to get charges dropped for her husband, what seem very wrong is how far this officer went for no reason, why does he have the right to dig so deep into my person life for no reason, lets be honest here he did not just pull my plate and get all this information he had to keep digging. If my father had been driving my vehicle and was stopped because he fit the same description as my husband the Officer would need a reason for a lawful stop. Where should the line be drawn, I appreciate everyone's insight.
    Thanks

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
    Posts
    3,541

    Default Re: Probable Cause

    Try to look at it from the officer's point of view, and for this exercise I shall assume you are a "traditional" married couple:

    He runs the plate and sees it is registered to a female, but there is a male driving. He does not know if he is dealing with a stolen auto or some other possible crime, so he checks to see if there is a male who may be connected to the vehicle. He finds that there is. He then sees the male is suspended. He now knows he is dealing with a possible crime. He verifies that the male driver matches the description of the suspended driver. He now has more than enough to make contact. He verifies that the driver is the suspended driver and proceeds accordingly.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Aug 2013
    Posts
    5

    Default Re: Probable Cause

    The police reports clearly states he ran a check it came back my name and all good then he stated he ran a check on who resided in my home and then my husbands name came up so then he ran a check on his name and seen he had a suspended license , so he asked for a description of my husband, when he pulled him over the first thing he said to my husband is so it is you ------(husbands name)--- license and registration please, So if your vehicle is registered in your name and your wife drives it they have the right to assume if could be stolen ect... My husband is not on my vehicle it is me only.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Sep 2005
    Location
    California
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    Default Re: Probable Cause

    Quote Quoting violated
    View Post
    So your saying when there is no traffic infraction and the random check comes back good they have the right to keep checking for no reason.
    Yes, that's what I am saying.

    I understand my husband was totally wrong I did not entrust him with my vehicle there was an emergency that arose when I was at work and this was his choice to make.
    The fact remains he was driving your vehicle with your knowledge and that is against the law. I suspect even in your state you could have been charged as well for permitting it.

    what seem very wrong is how far this officer went for no reason, why does he have the right to dig so deep into my person life for no reason,
    Because the public expects the police to investigate wrongdoing, and the law permits him to do this. While it may "seem" wrong to you, such investigation is and always has been a common part of police investigations.

    lets be honest here he did not just pull my plate and get all this information he had to keep digging. If my father had been driving my vehicle and was stopped because he fit the same description as my husband the Officer would need a reason for a lawful stop.
    And if your father fit the same general description as your husband, then the officer might have been able to make the stop for the limited purpose of determining if he was the co-resident with a suspended license.
    A Nor Cal Cop Sergeant

    "Make mine a double mocha ...
    And a croissant!"


    Seek justice,
    Love mercy,
    Walk humbly with your God

    -- Courageous, by Casting Crowns

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