Hello. I am a criminal lawyer and I will do my best to answer your question. You said the officer was "there" on another matter. Was your car parked in a public place that was viewable to the general public? If not... why was the officer there (be specific)? Also, do you know why the officer's attention was drawn to your vehicle and how many vehicles were in the lot?
Courts have been pretty consistent that we have no reasonable expectation of privacy to our license plate numbers. If an officer stops you to run the plate then he must have a reasonable suspicion that you committed an offense before he could detain you. However, without such a seizure and without the officer invading a reasonable expectation of privacy, I can think of nothing that would deem his actions improper in the eyes of the court.
Since the officer likely did not see you driving, he/she could not arrest you but he/she could inform your employer of your license status. I also know of no civil action that you can take against the police officer for informing your employer as long as the information given your employer was entirely true. If any of it is false or misleading, you would have a civil claim for defamation against the police officer. You should consult a local attorney if you would like to evaluate your potential civil claim against the police for defamation.
I realize it was a lousy thing to do but I think you will find it was legal.
Please reply if I can help further.
Remember to click ACCEPT only when you are satisfied with your answers. This is how we get paid for our time with your questions. I would also appreciate any positive feedback you could provide. If you are not satisfied then please reply to me so I can further assist you or find someone else to help. I am not your attorney. Therefore no attorney-client relationship exists and any communications on this website are not subject to the attorney-client privilege. For this reason, please do not divulge any personal information and use this site only for hypothetical questions. This forum is for general questions and answers and I cannot provide you with applicable law or legal opinions or advice in your jurisdiction. Please seek the advice of a competent attorney in your jurisdiction. While I can answer general questions and discuss general legal principles, I cannot give you legal advice in your state. The internet is a great place to get general information but should not be seen as a substitute for the attorney-client relationship or the services of a good lawyer in your state.
DISCLAIMER: Answers from Experts on JustAnswer are not substitutes for the advice of an attorney. JustAnswer is a public forum and questions and responses are not private or confidential or protected by the attorney-client privilege. The Expert above is not your attorney, and the response above is not legal advice. You should not read this response to propose specific action or address specific circumstances, but only to give you a sense of general principles of law that might affect the situation you describe. Application of these general principles to particular circumstances must be done by a lawyer who has spoken with you in confidence, learned all relevant information, and explored various options. Before acting on these general principles, you should hire a lawyer licensed to practice law in the jurisdiction to which your question pertains.
The responses above are from individual Experts, not JustAnswer. The site and services are provided “as is”. To view the verified credential of an Expert, click on the “Verified” symbol in the Expert’s profile. This site is not for emergency questions which should be directed immediately by telephone or in-person to qualified professionals. Please carefully read the Terms of Service (last updated February 8, 2012).