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  1. #1
    Join Date
    May 2008
    Posts
    9

    Exclamation What is Probable Cause for Arrest

    My question involves the issue of porbable cause for arrest, and possibly a false police report. I was recent pulled over on my street of residence. I had commited no moving violations, nor was I told I was doing anything wrong once I was pulled over. I had A suspended license, but I was going around the corner. In no way was I going to draw attention to myself while driving that short of distance. After getting pulled I had to ask why. The officer stated told me, "I had to run your plate regardless, and saw that one of the registered owner's license was suspended." My vehicle has three people on the registration. Being totally compliant with the officer he let me go home, but my vehicle was impounded,$1,900. So days later I went to my local police department, got a print out of my report and found that the officer had put down that there were reports of racing. I had been home all night and had seen no such thing. Regardless I have no way of truelly proving it. So my question is it probable cause to stop even if they had no vehicle description, and no cause to make the stop while I was driving? I am simply stressed at the incident because I feel even though I was in the wrong, I was being stopped by a cop that made a bad judgement.

  2. #2

    Default Re: Probable Cause for Arrest

    Reports of racing might be why the officer was in that area at that time, but officers don't need cause to run tags - vehicle registrations are public record, AND police have a duty to ensure that vehicle registration laws are being followed (and driver's license info is easily linked to this). When they're in traffic, you can bet that most of them are running the tag on any car that's in front of them, and on both sides when at traffic lights. Not to mention that many registration problems are glaring to officers since the registration stickers have dates on them so officers can spot such problems quickly and investigate further.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Sep 2005
    Location
    California
    Posts
    20,594

    Default Re: Probable Cause for Arrest

    Officers can run your registration without any cause ... if that registration leads to a name of a person in possession of a suspended license, many jurisdictions will find that sufficient cause to justify a detention to determine if the driver is indeed the registered owner who is suspended.



    - Carl

  4. #4

    Default Re: Probable Cause for Arrest

    There is a new computer program out that allows officers to automatically scan plates. All they have to do is ride the parking lot at the local mall and if a plate is expired or registered to someone with an expried license it pops up.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Sep 2005
    Location
    California
    Posts
    20,594

    Default Re: Probable Cause for Arrest

    That kind of hardware is in very, very limited deployment so far ... I don't know of any agencies here in CA that have deployed anything like it. I have read about studies being done, and some agencies that have made limited use of the software, but it's still very, very rare.

    It's far more common still for a bored officer to just run random plates when he sees them. I used to do that when I was on patrol ... especially late nights or if the vehicle or driver looked ... odd.

    - Carl

  6. #6

    Default Re: Probable Cause for Arrest

    Aw Carl - you woulda loved to work down here in the Sunshine State. When I was dispatching, we were allowed to dodge an 8 hour shift off the radio per pay period and substitute it with ride-along time. Not only really good for "team building", but the officer in question got a certified someone to sit and run in-car teletype all shift for them (CRANKING those officer-initiated stats) - and all it cost them was the 1/2 price breakfast deal at Dennys =)

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Sep 2005
    Location
    California
    Posts
    20,594

    Default Re: Probable Cause for Arrest

    Quote Quoting aardvarc
    View Post
    Aw Carl - you woulda loved to work down here in the Sunshine State. When I was dispatching, we were allowed to dodge an 8 hour shift off the radio per pay period and substitute it with ride-along time. Not only really good for "team building", but the officer in question got a certified someone to sit and run in-car teletype all shift for them (CRANKING those officer-initiated stats) - and all it cost them was the 1/2 price breakfast deal at Dennys =)
    Out here, accepting them 1/2 price meals would be a violation of agency policy (except for the LAPD, apparently, as my previous riedalongs would seem to attest).

    Our Dispatchers here often break out for a ride, but my current agency doesn't have computers in the cars ... too small for them to be worth the "risk" and the expense.

    I AM looking to relocate out of CA, though (especially after recent political and economic shifts here, and my recent vacation) ... Western PA was really nice, and West Virginia was one of the most beautiful and friendly places I have ever been to! So ... maybe ... hmmm ....

    - Carl

  8. #8

    Default Re: Probable Cause for Arrest

    My good old Southern values only permit me to live in states where one can purchase sweet iced tea at the drive-thru at McDonalds =)

    Check this for me next time you hit Virginia, huh?

  9. #9

    Default Re: Probable Cause for Arrest

    Quote Quoting cdwjava
    View Post
    That kind of hardware is in very, very limited deployment so far ... I don't know of any agencies here in CA that have deployed anything like it. I have read about studies being done, and some agencies that have made limited use of the software, but it's still very, very rare.

    It's far more common still for a bored officer to just run random plates when he sees them. I used to do that when I was on patrol ... especially late nights or if the vehicle or driver looked ... odd.

    - Carl
    That software is widely used here in Philadelphia.

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