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Ask Thomas Swartz Your Own Question
Thomas Swartz
Thomas Swartz, Attorney
Category: Legal
Satisfied Customers: 3171
Experience:  Twenty one years experience as a lawyer in New York and New Jersey. Former Appellate Law Clerk.
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is is legal for an undercover policeman standing on a ...

Customer Question

is is legal for an undercover policeman standing on a street corner that see's you without a seatbelt on to call ahead to another office to have you cited? I was pulling out of 7-11 and did not have my seatbelt on until I was actually in the road...the undercover cop saw that I did not have my seatbelt on and called across the street where a couple of cops were just waiting to have me pulled over
Submitted: 9 years ago.
Category: Legal
Expert:  Thomas Swartz replied 9 years ago.


This is perfectly legal. The use of undercover officers are frequently used in many situations. The most frequent is in the use of the sale of drugs. An undercover officer witnesses a drug sale, and they radio ahead to other officers to have the suspect apprehended. There is nothing illegal about this. As long as the officers have probable cause to believe a violation has occurred they can stop you. And the officer's observation of you not wearing the seat belt gave rise to probable cause. It is somewhat strange that your police department would use its resources in this way to catch seat belt offenders, I agree, but sometimes the police want to reinforce in the public the importance of wearing seat belts.