When Running Plates Is Illegal
The New Jersey Supreme Court has said in written opinions that police may not decide to run your plates based on racial or ethnic reasons. Thus, police are prohibited from running plates because the driver is Black, Hispanic, Asian or any other race.
If you are facing charges as a result of being pulled over when an officer ran your license plate, contacting a qualified criminal defense attorney will ensure that your rights are fully protected. Be sure to tell your attorney if you believe that the police improperly ran your plates based on your race.
To schedule a free consultation with New Jersey criminal defense lawyer Ronald J. Brandmayr, Jr., call our office today at 732-409-5195 or send us an email through our online contact form.
N Citizens Arrest For Breach Of The Peace As Basis For Stop
Cunningham v. State, No. 04-03-00935-CR, 2004 WL 2803220 .
The defendant nearly hit vehicle of a private security officer-forced him off the road and then proceeded to weave in his lane. These actions constituted a breach of the peace and posed a continuing threat to the safety of the community. Additionally, upon being approached after stopping his vehicle at a drive-through, the defendant exhibited further symptoms of intoxication and admitted he had consumed several beers. Court held that the defendant committed a breach of the peace and a citizens arrest was authorized in this instance.
Kundel v. State, 46 S.W.3d 328
Defendant challenges the authority of a civilian wrecker driver to stop and arrest him. Court found that even though a citizen cannot make an arrest for mere moving violations, the cumulative driving behavior of the defendant in this case amounted to a breach of the peace. The citizen observed the defendant weaving back and forth over the roadway, hitting and driving over the curb about 20 times over a quarter of a mile before she pulled up the gated entrance of some town homes at which point the civilian pulled in front of her blocking her entrance into the complex, taking her car key and keeping her in her car until the police arrived.
Knowing Your Rights During A Traffic Stop In Texas
Youre driving your car, minding your own business, when suddenly, you hear the sound that every driver dreads: the piercing, warbling wail of a police siren. Hesitantly, you force yourself to look into the rearview mirror. Maybe, just maybe, the siren is meant for someone else, and the patrol car just needs to get around you. But no, your fears are confirmed, and you soon find yourself stopped at the side of the road, nervously awaiting whatever warning, reprimand, or punishment is in store.
While the occasional traffic stop is something almost every driver experiences at some point or another, and are generally very mundane and uneventful, recent events have brought the issue of driver rights to the forefront of public consciousness. The tragedy of the 2015 traffic arrest, and subsequent suicide, of 28-year old Sandra Bland illustrates the need for a better understanding of the rights and responsibilities of Texas motorists who are stopped for traffic violations. After all, as United States citizens, motorists right are protected by law. That being said, aggressively and disrespectfully exercising those rights can lead to more trouble than you probably want to deal with during your daily commute.
Police only need reasonable suspicion to pull you over
Police need probable cause to search your vehicle
You have the right to remain silent
You May Like: How Much Is A Police Background Check
Member Question: What Are My Rights And Responsibilities During A Traffic Stop In Texas
We recently received a heartfelt email and question from one of our members that really spoke to us:
Dear Texas Legal,
My daughter is 16 and is just taking drivers education to get a learners permit. We are both minorities of mixed race. We have seen so many stories about police stops gone wrong or young teens incarcerated for life when they are wrongly accused or taking a plea deal because they are told to plead guilty. I am at a loss in protecting my child. Dont get me wrong I teach my daughter right from wron and about making choices that could have life altering circumstances, but where do I go to find out laws to protect her and myself?
For example, can a police pull you over and tell you to get out of a car without probable cause?
Should me or my child get out of the car?
What are the appropriate directions to follow if we get stopped?
If my child gets arrested for being accused of something becuase maybe shes in the wrong place at the wrong time, what are her rights?
All states are different, so I dont want to do a google search and get different information. I honestly do not know and never has my high school, college or masters degree ever prepared me for these life occurrences, but I do know they can happen.
Looking for guidance and a place to research.
Respectfully a worried mom, Monica XXXXXXX
Unfortunately, Adair says, finding answers to these questions isnt easy because it depends on where you live and how laws there are interpreted.
Texas Hit And Run Laws: Criminal Charges And Penalties In Texas
Leaving the scene of an accident involving death or serious injury is a third-degree felony, punishable by 2 to 10 years in a state prison. If the injury is not serious, it is a felony punishable by up to one year in a county jail or up to five years in a state prison and/or a fine of up to $5,000.
Hit and run involving damage to an occupied vehicle is a Class C misdemeanor with a fine of up to $500 If the damage to all vehicles is less than $200.
It is a Class B misdemeanor, up to six months in a county jail, if the damage is more than $200. And the fact is that almost any scratch on a car will cost more than $200 in body shop repairs nowadays.
The same penalties apply for hitting a parked car and leaving and for damaging fixtures, or landscaping without stopping or reporting.
Don’t Miss: Can You File A Fraud Police Report Online
You Have The Right To Say No
It is amazing to me how many people I have seen over the years who admit they are carrying drugs or some type of weapon. Many times, that would have never been discovered unless they had admitted it. Police officers frequently ask if you have any drugs or weapons in the car. You dont have to answer that question. As long as you are outside the car, they have no reason to look inside. Since their concern is supposed to be for their safety, they are only allowed to look in areas you might be able to retrieve a weapon from. If you are standing outside your car, you do not have access to the inside, especially with an officer standing there with you. Again, it is amazing the number of people who admit they have something inside their car. Since there is nothing to prevent the officer from asking the question, they routinely do so.
Whenever you are stopped, the police have the right to determine if you have any outstanding warrants. Warrants can be issued for failing to pay traffic fines, as well as more serious offenses. They check by calling into a dispatcher, who will run your name through the computer system. They will also check to make sure your license is valid. Sometimes this is done fairly quickly, and sometimes it takes longer. An officer is authorized to detain you for a reasonable amount of time so that they can complete this check.
What Happens If Police Pull You Over For No Reason
Officers require probable cause to pull you over. You can call on your Fifth Amendment right to stay quiet. You dont have to take a roadside breathalyzer test. You have to stop at police checkpoints if youre selected. You can record encounters with police. Police can search your vehicle with enough reason.
Don’t Miss: How Do Police Monitor Social Media
When Can The Cops Pull Me Over
The cops can pull you over when they believe youve done something wrong.
That means they can identify youve violated one of the innumerable provisions of the California Vehicle Code. That can run the gamut from speeding, neglecting to use a turn signal, running a red light or driving with a broken taillight.
Or, the police need to have received a tip or enough other information about the particular characteristics of a person or vehicle potentially involved in a crime to justify pulling you over without having committed a crime in front of them.
For instance, if police have a description of a criminal suspect who is young, white, male, tall, wearing a baseball jacket and cap in a particular neighborhood, they should be within their rights to pull someone over who fits that profile.
The technical term for this is that police have to have reasonable suspicion youre violating the law. Reasonable suspicion has no precise definition, but it has to be something supported by a collection of facts and not just an officers hunch. An officer witnessing you swerving could be reason enough to pull you over for a minor vehicle code violation or to check if youre drunk. An officer not liking the color of your car would not count.
What Do You Have To Pay For When Your Car Is Impounded
A vehicle impound can cost you a fortune. Some people have to pay so much to get their car out that they will let it sit there because its not worth the total amount due.
- Storage fee at the lot
- Impound fee assessed by the police
- Fine for being cited for driving without insurance
- Cost to enroll to complete community service
Don’t Miss: How To Become A Police Officer Step By Step
If The Police Or Immigration Agents Come To Your Home
- If the police or immigration agents come to your home, you do not have to let them in unless they have certain kinds of warrants.
- Ask the officer to slip the warrant under the door or hold it up to the window so you can inspect it. A search warrant allows police to enter the address listed on the warrant, but officers can only search the areas and for the items listed. An arrest warrant allows police to enter the home of the person listed on the warrant if they believe the person is inside. A warrant of removal/deportation does not allow officers to enter a home without consent.
- Even if officers have a warrant, you have the right to remain silent. If you choose to speak to the officers, step outside and close the door.
What Happens If I Get Pulled Over Without Insurance
Driving without insuranceillegal in all 50 statespenalties may include fines, suspension of your license and registration, vehicle impoundment, community service, an SR-22 requirement, and even imprisonment$300 fine, three-month license and registration suspension, and possible vehicle impoundmentaffordable
Key Takeaway Penalties for driving uninsured may include fines, suspension of your license and registration, vehicle impoundment, community service, an SR-22 requirement, and even imprisonment
Read Also: Is Lying To The Police A Crime
Can A Police Officer Pull You Over For No Reason
Where a typical detention is concerned, officers must have reasonable suspicion that the detainee is committing or has committed a crime. But since roadblocks and sobriety checkpoints are, generally speaking, legal, one might wonder whether officers can generally stop drivers on a whim. The answer is no. In Delaware v.
Will The Officer Tow Your Uninsured Car
If you disclose that you dont have insurance or you cant answer the officers questions, its quite possible that the officer will call a tow truck and have your car taken from the scene.
Sometimes, its at the officers discretion as to whether or not the car will be towed.
Other times, its mandatory for law enforcement to tow all uninsured vehicles when the driver is cited. Check requirements in your state.
You May Like: How To Check If Someone Filed A Police Report
If You Feel Your Rights Have Been Violated
- Remember: police misconduct cannot be challenged on the street. Don’t physically resist officers or threaten to file a complaint.
- Write down everything you remember, including officers’ badge and patrol car numbers, which agency the officers were from, and any other details. Get contact information for witnesses. If you are injured, take photographs of your injuries .
- File a written complaint with the agency’s internal affairs division or civilian complaint board. In most cases, you can file a complaint anonymously if you wish.
- Call your local ACLU or visit www.aclu.org/profiling.
Can My Car Be Towed For No Insurance
- Driving without insurance is a Class C misdemeanor in some states that can be upgraded to a Class B violation
- If youre caught violating your states insurance laws, youll pay the price in the form of fees and penalties
- When youre cited for a violation and you dont have insurance, the officer could have your car towed at the scene
- When your car is parked on a public street with no insurance for a long period, parking enforcement officers may tow the car
- Its possible that your car could be towed and then repossessed if youre financing and you dont have full coverage
Paying to have your car towed is one of the last expenses that you want to foot the bill for. Even worse is when you have a completely operable vehicle and youre billed for a tow service that you didnt want.
Unfortunately, when youre knowingly driving a car thats not insured, theres a good chance that your car could be towed by state officials.
Dont put yourself in this position. Compare quotes today to make sure you get the best rate for the coverage you need.
Automobiles were once a luxury and now they are more of a necessity. If youre left stranded on the side of the road without a car, theres no telling what could happen.
Not only do you have to worry about getting home, you have to worry about getting your car released so that you can get to work. Heres what you should know about the risks of driving an uninsured vehicle:
Compare quotes from the top car insurance companies and save
Recommended Reading: What Are The Requirements To Become A Police Officer
Your Car May Be Impounded For Suspended Plates
If impounding the car isnt mandatory in your state, it still could happen. In many states, the DMV will actually suspend your license plates for failing to respond to a letter asking for proof of your insurance.
If this happens, a simple traffic stop could turn into a long encounter with the police.
In most cases, your car will be towed away to the police state or an impound lot when you dont have valid tags. You cant immediately go and pick up the car because youll have to straighten everything out with your car first.
This means that you need to get insurance and then reinstate your plates.
If you need to insurance to comply with the law, you need to act now. Get online quotes via the world wide web and you can instantly compare quotes from several carriers at the same time.
Make sure to choose the right coverage options and thoroughly review each quote to bind the best coverage through the best carrier. Get started right now!
D Bad Driving/conduct Need Not = Criminal Offense
Pillard v. State, No. 06-14-00015-CR, 2014 WL 3953236 .
Weaving within lane and traveling 20 mph in a 40 mph zone, leaving an area populated by bars after closing time together provided a legal basis for the stop that led to this Defendants arrest.
, No. 05-09-00147-CR, 2010 WL 188734 .
Officer testified he observed defendant driving on a flat, straight, well-lit road with no obstacles when defendants vehicle left its lane and hit the curb with enough force to push it back into the lane. In officers experience, intoxicated drivers sometimes hit the curb, demonstrating they are unable to safely navigate the road. He further testified, it was early Sunday morning shortly after the bars had closed, a high DWI time. Because he believed defendant might be intoxicated, he stopped the car to investigate further. Defendant focused on the fact that hitting curb alone was not a traffic violation, but Court of Appeals held that totality of circumstances justified the stop
Foster v. State, 326 S.W.3d 609 .
Derichsweiler v. State, 348 S.W.3d 906 , s.ct. cert. denied, Oct. 3, 2011.
State v. Alderete, 314 S.W.3d 469 .
Police officers had reasonable suspicion to stop defendant on suspicion of DWI, where defendant continuously swerved within her lane for half of a mile in the early morning hours, and officers were trained to detect individuals driving while intoxicated, even if defendant did not violate any traffic regulation.
Rafaelli v. State, 881 S.W.2d 714 .
Recommended Reading: How Old Do You Have To Become A Police Officer
What Is The Penalty For Providing Fake Proof Of Insurance
Is not having auto insurance a criminal offense? Not only is it a criminal offense, but its also an additional crime to drive uninsured and attempt to use fake or invalid proof of insurance. If you hand over a card that appears to be valid, you could get in even more trouble when the officer discovers the policy was canceled for non-payment months back.
In some states, officers are allowed to arrest people on the spot who are knowingly furnishing fake ID cards. In addition to your moving violations, you may face penalties for falsifying documents or using counterfeit documents to government officials.