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Thread: Two Questions.

  1. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sam View Post
    To those of you who say you must have the documents first: What would you do if the person refused to give them to you until you told them why you stopped them? Don't they have a right to know what they are being accused of before they identify themselves? ~
    I always give the standard greeting mentioned in my post above, however in most states, I think (I know it is here in Oregon), simply driving a car is enough reason for me to get ID from you. If you're behind the wheel, you've assumed the responsibility of being able to prove that you can be there (by having a drivers' license) and I can ask for that regardless of why you're stopped (even if it's on the side of the road and you're not actively operating the vehicle).
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  2. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by irishmick View Post
    I always give the standard greeting mentioned in my post above, however in most states, I think (I know it is here in Oregon), simply driving a car is enough reason for me to get ID from you. If you're behind the wheel, you've assumed the responsibility of being able to prove that you can be there (by having a drivers' license) and I can ask for that regardless of why you're stopped (even if it's on the side of the road and you're not actively operating the vehicle).
    Does it matter when it's provided? Whether before or after being told why you're being stopped? Not an outright refusal (because that would be just plain stupid on the part of the driver), but only after being told why the person is being stopped I mean.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Sam View Post
    Does it matter when it's provided? Whether before or after being told why you're being stopped? Not an outright refusal (because that would be just plain stupid on the part of the driver), but only after being told why the person is being stopped I mean.
    I have always asked for DL/INS first because I can then explain the violation and if an argument ensues, I can advise the violator to stay in the car and go write the citation. I then come back, give them the cite (no violator signature required here) and advise them to argue it in court. If I don't have the DL/INS in hand, I have to stand there and listen to the excuses or escalate if the driver refuses to give me the info. In the end, me walking away before the argument gets rolling lessens the chance of a serious escalation. Also, the sooner I get the drivers info the less chance that they will try to bolt. It's safer for me and the violator.

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  4. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sam View Post
    To those of you who say you must have the documents first: What would you do if the person refused to give them to you until you told them why you stopped them? Don't they have a right to know what they are being accused of before they identify themselves? ~

    I'm not aware of any statutory laws or case law that requires a person to be informed of why they were stopped before identifying themselves. In fact, I've written people citations in the past, and they didn't know what the ticket was for until I gave it to them (As a result of a brain fart, I forgot to tell them why I stopped them during my first interaction with them).

    And people do occasionally refuse to ID themselves until I tell them why they've been stopped. Unfortunately they forget that while they are involved in the traffic stop (you've gotta have at least one cop and one violator), they're in no way in charge of, operating, or running the traffic stop.

    The last guy who "refused" was told he WOULD provide me with his ID before anything else happened or he'd be removed from the vehicle and arrested for obstructing the legal process. He gave up his ID.
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  5. #25
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    I know in AL that the Driver's License belongs to the state, so asking for it is reasonable. Also a traffic stop is a custodial arrest. I've never had to go as far as jmur though.

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  6. #26
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    Quote Originally Posted by jmur5074 View Post
    "Hi, I need your license and proof of insurance" is how i open it.

    I don't tell people why I stopped them until I have their license in my hand because if they want to argue it and deny it, or freak out and yell and scream...I don't even know who they are.
    I think I forgot to mention it -- but this is my reasoning, as well.

    And like everyone else said, if people want to yell and bitch and scream, let them. I normally just smile and say "ok."

    And rather than tell people "have a good day" or something similar after their stop I tell them "drive safe." I'll sometimes tell people to have a good day when it's a particularly good interaction and I give them a warning.
    I do the same thing, generally. "Drive safely, please" and often "don't forget your seat belt." as appropriate.

    Another thing I do (and yes, it is sometimes a smart ass move)... If they tell me that they're lost or something like that -- I'll help 'em before they leave. It's actually good public relations... and there have only been a couple times I've been tempted to tell them to drive the long way around the Capital Beltway to end up a few blocks down the road...
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  7. #27
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    A traffic stop is a Terry stop, not a custodial arrest.
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  8. #28
    Jks9199 is online now The Reason People Hate Cops & Causer of War
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sam View Post
    To those of you who say you must have the documents first: What would you do if the person refused to give them to you until you told them why you stopped them? Don't they have a right to know what they are being accused of before they identify themselves? ~
    Not really; I have the authority to stop a vehicle for many reasons. The law says you must submit to that authority. I have the authority and duty then to ensure that the driver is licensed properly. Your right to confront your accuser is at trial -- not in the street.

    That said, generally, I'll tell them why if they ask. I'm going to tell them anyway, and then, as others have said -- ask if they have an explanation. I've even explained to drivers that I haven't decided and will certainly listen to their reason. It may not sway me (How exactly is speeding going to help you get unlost?) or it may (I stopped a Marine just back from Iraq for a dead inspection. Yeah, that's a good excuse!)
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  9. #29
    Jks9199 is online now The Reason People Hate Cops & Causer of War
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    Quote Originally Posted by jmur5074 View Post
    And people do occasionally refuse to ID themselves until I tell them why they've been stopped. Unfortunately they forget that while they are involved in the traffic stop (you've gotta have at least one cop and one violator), they're in no way in charge of, operating, or running the traffic stop.
    Had one like that the other day. They ran a stop sign, and didn't bother to pull over because they "thought that I was after the driver in front of them." (Don't ask me how I was supposed to get to that car through theirs...) They got stopped at a red light, and I walked up and told them to pull to the curb. "Why?" with great indignation. The fact that I'd been behind them for a block and a half or so, lights glaring and siren blaring, apparently didn't signify anything immediately. My answer was simple and direct "Because I'm a police officer, stopping your car." (Oh, and their chances of getting a break hit negative numbers... right then.)

    The last guy who "refused" was told he WOULD provide me with his ID before anything else happened or he'd be removed from the vehicle and arrested for obstructing the legal process. He gave up his ID.
    Yep. If you refuse to give me your ID, I can't issue a you a summons since I can't release you on your promise to appear if I don't know who you are. Congratulations; your ticket is now a custodial arrest. Funny -- explain that, and most decide they do want to cooperate a bit more.
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  10. #30
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    As I approach the person I have stopped, I put on the smile. "Good mornng, do you know why I pulled you over?" Most will say why accurately. If they apppear sleepy, and I get a vague response, I address their being tired. If it comes down to not knowing why, I tell them. In the course of the discusion. I ask for their DL and reg. and insurance. "i'll be writing this vioation up and will be back with you in a minute." Look over any passengers and make eye contact with, or acknowledge, them.

    If they refuse their DL, or refuse to sign the ticket, smile goes away, I go quiet/serious and explain that their behavior is contrary to law, their car will be towed as they go to jail. The car being towed seems to have more effect than the threat of jail to the driver. I give them the opportunity to decide: easy way or hard way, half a minute seems adequate, and no backing down if they choose the hard way. Liars about their lack of ID do not get the option of a choice.

    Good luck in the academy and your FTO training. Don't worry if you seem to be all thumbs/forgetting everything on the first several stops, it's normal. At some point it will fall into place.
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  11. #31
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    My contact is the same always, if the traffic stop is normal.
    Good day (yes I will say good day) my name is (rank, name) with the (agency). The reason I am stopping you is...... I need to see your license, registration and proof of insurance please. (yes I say please) (All in one breath with no stopping) My verbiage will change only should the need arise. If not it stays the same every time.

    Quote Originally Posted by Sam View Post
    To those of you who say you must have the documents first: What would you do if the person refused to give them to you until you told them why you stopped them? Don't they have a right to know what they are being accused of before they identify themselves? ~

    I always inform the person of why I stopped them as I feel it gets the reason for the stop out of the way. It also shows I have the courtesy of letting them know why they were stopped. However, Louisiana law says....

    32:411.1. Licensee to have license in immediate possession; notification to vehicle owner; surrender of license; issuance of temporary permits

    A.(1) Any person lawfully possessed of a driver's license issued to him by either the Department of Public Safety and Corrections or the appropriate agency of another state if such person resides in this state shall have such license in his immediate possession at all times when driving a motor vehicle and shall display it upon demand of any officer or agent of the department or any police officer of the state, parish, or municipality.
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  12. #32
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    By the way, VA Code 46.2-104 requires a driver to " stop on the signal of any law-enforcement officer who is in uniform or shows his badge or other sign of authority and shall, on the officer's request, exhibit his registration card, driver's license, learner's permit, or temporary driver's permit and write his name in the presence of the officer, if so required, for the purpose of establishing his identity."
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  13. #33
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    Howdy maam (or sir) I am Offiser Jones and I stopped you for a traffic violation, which I will not cite you for as we have a catch and release policy. I will, however, give you a warning ticket which is worthless asit gets filed away someplace and never seen again. If you ignore me and just drive away, I will not chase you as we also have a policy not to drive over 25 MPH or 25 miles per shift. Have a nice day.

  14. #34
    Five-0's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by MacLean View Post
    A traffic stop is a Terry stop, not a custodial arrest.
    I stand corrected. Your post made me research the case law:

    Berkemer v. McCarty 468 U.S. 420 (1984)
    FindLaw | Cases and Codes

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  15. #35
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    For moving violations, It's usually "Hello, I'm officer Podz with the xyz police department, the reason you were stopped is for going 47 in a 30. Is there a medical or other emergency that you're trying to get to?" This is where I usually get their excuse, usually something like "No I just wasn't paying attention". Then I tell them I need their license etc. Like the others, I tell them why they were stopped.

    Unless it's for equipment or expired plates. Then after introducing myself, I ask whether or not they knew they had a headlight out or if they knew their plates were expired. Surprisingly, a lot of times they'll tell me they knew.

    And I always lay on my modest southern accent I picked up living in Virginia extra thick and smile. And I always try to give a break. Whether it's lowering the speed on a radar ticket (we're allowed to), or writing them a ticket for an expired insurance card instead of running the stop sign. I usually end up getting thanked by the driver I just gave a ticket to.
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  16. #36
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    Quote Originally Posted by Pudge View Post
    This. Let them run their mouth all they want. My cameras are all recording, giving wonderful evidence to what they were like on the stop when they come in to court acting like a saint.

    As to the greeting, I usually keep it pretty simple. "Evening, I need your license, registration, and proof of current insurance please" Once those are provided I explain the reason for stop. I do this to cut down on any debate for the cause for stop before I have them identified. If they ask me why I stopped them before I have at least their license/ID in hand, I kindly explain to them that I will gladly tell them once I have their information.

    Exactly the same as me
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  17. #37
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sam View Post
    To those of you who say you must have the documents first: What would you do if the person refused to give them to you until you told them why you stopped them? Don't they have a right to know what they are being accused of before they identify themselves? ~
    This has happened to me before. I usually just tell them that I'd be more than glad to tell them why I stopped them just as soon as I can get those documents from them, just so I can speak to them man to (wo)man. That usually does the trick. When it doesn't, I don't fuck around. I go right to a changed tone (usually quieter rather than louder), and something along the lines of, "I'm going to ask you one more time to provide your license, registration, and proof of insurance before I start to lose my patience and this goes down a very different way." I've only had it go past that a couple times over 7 years. Nowadays if people still give me the case of the ass, I hit the pocket record button and give them a "lawful order" (in those words) to provide me with what I've asked for. Ask, tell, make. I've only had it go past that point once and there wasn't a fight. Cover arrived and I hooked him for failing to obey a lawful order and interference.

    Like someone said, traffic stops are Terry stops, just with the additional element of a vehicle involved. While it doesn't rise to the level of a formal arrest, it is a detainment based upon at least reasonable suspicion. Based on Terry, subjects are indeed required to provide their identifying information to officers. The trump card here though is that a license is required in most, if not all, states to be carried on the person while operating a motor vehicle on public roadways. There's also usually a statute like the ones cited that require the license to be presented upon request. In most cases, failing to do so provides me with probable cause to summons or even arrest you. Here, I would just arrest you, based upon my PC, and the need to identify you positively through fingerprints and a mug shot. If you're going to be a pain in my ass and try to dictate the terms of my stop, I'm just going to CYA and do everything by the book, which means no break for you. Sorry.

  18. #38
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    Quote Originally Posted by sgtbear111 View Post
    If they refuse their DL, or refuse to sign the ticket, smile goes away, I go quiet/serious and explain that their behavior is contrary to law, their car will be towed as they go to jail.
    They don't have to sign any more Sarge, now we just hand it to them and walk away.
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  19. #39
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    Well, I only got to do one of the 3 car stop scenarios. The one I did do was a Spanish speaking driver. So this white boy (me) with blonde hair, blue eyes; walks up to the car and.......... Handled business. IN SPANISH. I love being a Spanish speaker with my Irish/German looks. It threw the driver off, threw the grader off, and earned me a perfect grade.

  20. #40
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    Quote Originally Posted by cirrusly View Post
    Well, I only got to do one of the 3 car stop scenarios. The one I did do was a Spanish speaking driver. So this white boy (me) with blonde hair, blue eyes; walks up to the car and.......... Handled business. IN SPANISH. I love being a Spanish speaker with my Irish/German looks. It threw the driver off, threw the grader off, and earned me a perfect grade.

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