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RobertJDFL, Attorney
Category: Legal
Satisfied Customers: 13748
Experience:  Experienced in multiple areas of the law.
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What constitutes an illegal traffic stop? Tulare co. CA, No

Customer Question

what constitutes an illegal traffic stop?
JA: What state are you in? It matters because laws vary by location.
Customer: Tulare co. CA
JA: Has anything been filed or reported?
Customer: No ticket was issued, but passengers were asked for I.D. and found to have warrants. Vehicle was searched and cleared to leave. Stop was for ffaulty license plate light
JA: Anything else you want the lawyer to know before I connect you?
Customer: It appears the stop was unjustified. Was it illegal?
Submitted: 8 months ago.
Category: Legal
Expert:  RobertJDFL replied 8 months ago.

Thank you for using Just Answer. I am a licensed attorney and look forward to helping you. I am reviewing your question and will reply back shortly.

Expert:  RobertJDFL replied 8 months ago.

Police only need cause to make a valid stop. In other words, they can't pull over someone for no reason, to run their ID and see if they have warrants. But, if the officer notices an infraction -speeding, weaving, a broken taillight, etc. - yes, they are permitted to make a traffic stop. My understanding of California law is that license plate lights are required, so if one was burned out or not working, that is a valid reason to stop them.

A passenger cannot be compelled to produce identification without suspicion that they are involved in some illegal activity or upon arrest. Problem is, most people don't know that. So if a person voluntary gives up their identification when an officer asks, that is legal. Many times, an officer says it more like a demand than a question and expect people to know that they can refuse. Not exactly fair, but not illegal to do that.

Expert:  RobertJDFL replied 8 months ago.

Was there anything I could clarify for you or additional information you needed about this question?

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