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  1. #1

    Default Can the Police Open a Vehicle Door to Scan the Car Barcode

    My question involves police conduct in the State of: Texas

    So question about this. I recently got a speeding ticket (link to other post) and during the traffic stop, the cop opened my car door to scan the sticker/barcode on the inside of the door frame.

    This was shocking but it happened so fast. The cop just did the scan and then closed the door again.

    Curious to your thoughts on this? This seems like quite the invasion and illegal search and could easily be used for developing probable cause....

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Oct 2016
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    Default Re: [Tx] Police Opening Door to Scan Car Barcode

    Well, he could have kept you there and spent the time writing the VIN number down. And had he found something during this non-consent non-search it would have been ruled inadmissible.

    I've noticed on some cards the barcode is now near the windshield visible VIN.

  3. #3
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    Default Re: [Tx] Police Opening Door to Scan Car Barcode

    If it was a "non-search" then things would have been "admissible." The question is whether checking the vin on the door equate to a search. You might want to read through: https://supreme.justia.com/cases/federal/us/475/106/

  4. #4
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    Default Re: [Tx] Police Opening Door to Scan Car Barcode

    Quote Quoting surfer349
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    This seems like quite the invasion
    How do you figure?


    Quote Quoting surfer349
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    and illegal search
    Since you told us nothing about why the cop did this, what information he/she obtained as a result, or anything else, I'm not sure why you reach this conclusion.


    Quote Quoting surfer349
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    and could easily be used for developing probable cause.
    Probable cause for what purpose?

  5. #5

    Default Re: [Tx] Police Opening Door to Scan Car Barcode

    I don't want to be rude, but I think maybe you didn't read the OP or understand general PC, searches, and not allowing unwarranted searches....

    Quote Quoting pg1067
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    How do you figure?
    umm....because an officer forcibly opens a drivers car door and inspects the inside of the vehicle without warning or probable cause.


    Quote Quoting pg1067
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    Since you told us nothing about why the cop did this, what information he/she obtained as a result, or anything else, I'm not sure why you reach this conclusion.
    Please read the OP. Driver pulled over for speeding>officer opens door to scan vehicle barcode>obtains vehicle details.
    It seems to be generally understood that warrantless searches are not legal.

    Quote Quoting pg1067
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    Probable cause for what purpose?
    Have you never heard a story of an officer illegally searching a vehicle because of a paperthin "Probable Cause"?

  6. #6
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    Default Re: [Tx] Police Opening Door to Scan Car Barcode

    In what way is scanning the barcode a search?

  7. #7

    Default Re: [Tx] Police Opening Door to Scan Car Barcode

    Quote Quoting cbg
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    In what way is scanning the barcode a search?
    an officer opening a car door and sticking his head inside the vehicle...i've read plenty of cases that were dismissed because of this behavior

    Quote Quoting Taxing Matters
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    Of course, if nothing was found as a result of the scan then there is nothing to complain about since nothing was obtained that could be used against the driver and no damages were suffered from the several seconds of the car door being open.
    This OP was to discuss the behavior in general of a LEO *searching* a vehicle under the guise of "I just need to open your door and look at the sticker*....not this specific incident that was peaceful and found nothing.

  8. #8
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    Default Re: [Tx] Police Opening Door to Scan Car Barcode

    Did you read the case. Looking at the VIN Number is not an illegal search. Whether opening the door is justified depends on circumstance. The case I posted covered opening the door to see the VIN because through the windshield one was blocked with stuff on the dash. There are other cases when the door was opened due to the officer articulating reasonable cause (such as not being able to see what the passengers were doing while obstensibly searching for their registration). However, the narrow scope fo the secisions here imply that just randomly opening the door because you're too lazy to read the number on the dash or whatever, may indeed be unreasonable and invalidate a subsequent search.

  9. #9
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    Default Re: [Tx] Police Opening Door to Scan Car Barcode

    Quote Quoting surfer349
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    an officer opening a car door and sticking his head inside the vehicle...i've read plenty of cases that were dismissed because of this behavior
    Unless you want to cite the cases, this is a rather pointless statement.


    Quote Quoting surfer349
    View Post
    This OP was to discuss the behavior in general of a LEO *searching* a vehicle under the guise of "I just need to open your door and look at the sticker*....not this specific incident that was peaceful and found nothing.
    If opening the door to scan the bar code is not a search, then anything seen as a result is not going to be excluded. And, as I previously pointed out, if it didn't result in anything incriminating being discovered, it's a moot point.

  10. #10
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    Default Re: [Tx] Police Opening Door to Scan Car Barcode

    Quote Quoting surfer349
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    umm....because an officer forcibly opens a drivers car door and inspects the inside of the vehicle without warning or probable cause.
    You are reading something into the facts that is not there. Nothing was said to indicate the door was opened "forcibly." Rather, it sounds like the door was simply opened suddenly by the cop without the consent of the driver. There is a difference; forcibly suggests force was actually used to open the door. That does not seem to be the case here.

    Of course, if nothing was found as a result of the scan then there is nothing to complain about since nothing was obtained that could be used against the driver and no damages were suffered from the several seconds of the car door being open.

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