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DL Check, traffic stop.

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  • DL Check, traffic stop.

    I know I can stop any motorist on the road to check if they have a DL. Upon determining if they have a DL I see they have an expired registration sticker (plain view doctrine) can I give them a ticket for expired LPs? Or lets say I run a check on him he comes backed 99, can I arrest?

    I've been reading case laws but none really involve the question I ask.

  • #2
    I wouldn't use that as your only basis for your stop unless the driver looks like he is 12 yrs old. If you have a legitimate stop and you observe another violation then write away or if he is wanted then hook em up!
    Strong Body, Sharp Mind And Good Tactics!

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    • #3
      Originally posted by Rush817 View Post
      I wouldn't use that as your only basis for your stop unless the driver looks like he is 12 yrs old. If you have a legitimate stop and you observe another violation then write away or if he is wanted then hook em up!

      I know what you mean. I would never just stop someone to check if they have a DL. I will say that about 35% of the citizens in the area I patrol don't have a DL.

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      • #4
        Or, instead of looking to see how old they look, just look at the registration sticker. If you see its expired, you are good to stop it on that alone, and can ticket or arrest away.

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        • #5
          Run the dang registration on the vehicle, if it comes back, you have all the probable cause you need to make a stop.

          I know the Transportation Code says you can stop and check to see if anyone driving has a valid DL. I don't think that alone will stand up in court as you still need probable cause to 'seize' the vehicle and occupant.

          However, if you were to find someone with a warrant after doing that, sure you can arrest them. The warrant is probable cause in and of itself, provided it's confirmed, but IMHO, you better hope he doesn't have the motherload of dope on his person because I think you just jeopardized the entire incident by virtue stopping solely to check a DL.

          I could have sworn the CCP states we need PC to stop on traffic.
          Moooooooooooo, I'm a goat

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          • #6
            Originally posted by JSD73 View Post

            I could have sworn the CCP states we need PC to stop on traffic.
            Actually all we need is "reasonable suspicion" to stop. However PC is of course better.

            Seeing a driver that "appears" to be 14 would be reasonable suspicion. Not PC.

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            • #7
              I once argued that point as well, but found myself unsure as it was a much more veteran officer than I....not that they know everything...buuutt...my point being, at least in my opinion, probable cause is a much better option. Using reasonable suspicion for an investigative stop is good, I use them all the time, but not because one needs a DL and with me working at night, I can't see the 'age' of the driver.
              Last edited by JSD73; 09-16-2009, 01:27 AM.
              Moooooooooooo, I'm a goat

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              • #8
                Originally posted by TEX_DEPUTY View Post
                I know I can stop any motorist on the road to check if they have a DL. Upon determining if they have a DL I see they have an expired registration sticker (plain view doctrine) can I give them a ticket for expired LPs? Or lets say I run a check on him he comes backed 99, can I arrest?

                I've been reading case laws but none really involve the question I ask.
                I know Transportation Code Section 521.025 says you can stop someone just to check if they have a valid DL; however, the US Supreme Court ruled in Delaware v. Prouse, 440 U.S. 648 (1979) that spot checks for valid DL or registration is an unconstitutional seizure if there is not at least reasonable suspicion for the stop.

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by TEX_DEPUTY View Post
                  I know I can stop any motorist on the road to check if they have a DL. Upon determining if they have a DL I see they have an expired registration sticker (plain view doctrine) can I give them a ticket for expired LPs? Or lets say I run a check on him he comes backed 99, can I arrest?
                  That does not come under the plain view doctrine. There is no expectation of privacy for a registration sticker and it is not evidence or contraband. I mean I guess it could be evidence, but that's a stretch.

                  I'd find some valid PC for stopping them. You can always find something.
                  sigpic

                  " 'Blessed are the Peacemakers', is, I suppose, to be understood in the other world, for in this one they are frequently cursed." - Benjamin Franklin

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                  • #10
                    I'd like just like to revert y'alls attention back to post number 3 where I state I wouldn't stop someone for just a DL check.

                    I was just asking.

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                    • #11
                      I got that, I was just answering your first post, which was a really good one. It's always good to know that obscure stuff, just in case.
                      sigpic

                      " 'Blessed are the Peacemakers', is, I suppose, to be understood in the other world, for in this one they are frequently cursed." - Benjamin Franklin

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                      • #12
                        Yet you can stop a motorcycle to check for a valid class M license.
                        Moooooooooooo, I'm a goat

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                        • #13
                          Originally posted by JSD73 View Post
                          Yet you can stop a motorcycle to check for a valid class M license.
                          This is interesting. I stop motorcycles all the time, but I usually have more than just that on them. I wonder how this would play out if the motorcyclist was drunk. Would this PC be tossed out in trial?

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                          • #14
                            No way, that statute gives us PC and there is nothing written anywhere that says we have to overlook a crime. On the other hand, there is a law that says we have a duty to act. Doesn't say we are required to take a certain action, but we have to take action nonetheless.
                            Last edited by kcso; 09-16-2009, 09:01 PM. Reason: added stuff
                            sigpic

                            " 'Blessed are the Peacemakers', is, I suppose, to be understood in the other world, for in this one they are frequently cursed." - Benjamin Franklin

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