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Question: Stop Based upon Registration Info

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  • Question: Stop Based upon Registration Info

    I know that topic was covered previously and I don't think this aspect was covered but I was unable to find the posting. I know it is valid to make a traffic stop based upon the plates returning the registered owner showing suspended DL. Now the first discussion is whether the stop can continue after you know whether or not the person driving is the registered owner.

    I wanted to take it one step further. 1. If the driver is the registered owner and the vehicle has passengers, are you allowed to further question the occupants based upon them being in the vehicle? I know generally you scope is limited to the driver and I assumed without actions to warrant questioning, you could not question them or can you?

  • #2
    Originally posted by HopefulAcct View Post
    I know that topic was covered previously and I don't think this aspect was covered but I was unable to find the posting. I know it is valid to make a traffic stop based upon the plates returning the registered owner showing suspended DL. Now the first discussion is whether the stop can continue after you know whether or not the person driving is the registered owner.

    I wanted to take it one step further. 1. If the driver is the registered owner and the vehicle has passengers, are you allowed to further question the occupants based upon them being in the vehicle? I know generally you scope is limited to the driver and I assumed without actions to warrant questioning, you could not question them or can you?
    You (as a law enforcement officer) are free to engage anyone in a consensual conversation. They (the consenting individual) are free to end the discussion at any time. This conversation can be targeted or just about the weather; if it becomes apparent that the individual(s) are incriminating themselves, it is advised to give a Miranda warning before proceeding. So yes, you can make a traffic stop and then talk with occupants about the stop or completely unrelated matters.

    In regards to a traffic stop, its parameters and the allowable limits therein, it must be reasonable. The time constraints are not finite (the stop can be 5 minutes or 20) provided the officer can articulate why the stop went beyond the typical time frame. This could be a delay in receiving a license/warrant check or otherwise.
    Originally posted by SSD
    It has long been the tradition on this forum and as well as professionally not to second guess or Monday morning QB the officer's who were actually on-scene and had to make the decision. That being said, I don't think that your discussion will go very far on this board.
    Originally posted by Iowa #1603
    And now you are arguing about not arguing..................

    Comment


    • #3
      You can ask them just about anything you want. That doesn't mean they have to answer you. You can ask them if they have weapons or where the dope is at or if they are on probation or parole, etc. Is that what you are getting at?

      Comment


      • #4
        Thank you both for the response. I was listening and the officer was running the DL of the passengers and i understand they were in the vehicle when stopped but whether he could expand his stop to questioning them assuming they did not give him reason to. I know it turned out to be a DMV issue with the tag and why it would not come back to the plates or any other plates. Yes that was what I was getting at. Thanks again

        Comment


        • #5
          While recent court opinions have somewhat changed some previously long-held procedures related to traffic stops and the scope therein; under the general way you describe, contact with and inquisitive questioning of passengers is allowed.

          As noted, while the scope of search is sometimes limited in light of recent decisions, the lawfulness of an officer requesting identification from and subsequently conducting a warrant check on passengers is within the permissible scope in this type of contact. As opposed to a stop and talk situation, due to the mobility of a vehicle and its occupants, the courts have maintained a different take on what is permissible.
          Originally posted by SSD
          It has long been the tradition on this forum and as well as professionally not to second guess or Monday morning QB the officer's who were actually on-scene and had to make the decision. That being said, I don't think that your discussion will go very far on this board.
          Originally posted by Iowa #1603
          And now you are arguing about not arguing..................

          Comment

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