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  1. #1
    Cross240 is offline Temporarily Civilianized
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    No longer probable cause??

    Our city judge mentioned that Improper registration can no longer be used as probable cause?.....I have never heard this, if its something that has been a rule for awhile i'm gonna feel stupid for askin this. But i've had plenty of cases built on what developed from wrong tags. His reasoning is that NCIC sometimes makes mistakes, so its not a valid stop if you use that for your PC. I cant find anything about it on the internet, so its either not true, or its been around so long it doesn't need a website......lol




    If this is something that should be in the verfied area, just throw it there, an i'll check it when i get verified, or just PM me the answer.

  2. #2
    Curt581 is offline Whatever
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    Quote Originally Posted by Cross240
    Our city judge mentioned that Improper registration can no longer be used as probable cause?.....I have never heard this, if its something that has been a rule for awhile i'm gonna feel stupid for askin this. But i've had plenty of cases built on what developed from wrong tags. His reasoning is that NCIC sometimes makes mistakes, so its not a valid stop if you use that for your PC. I cant find anything about it on the internet, so its either not true, or its been around so long it doesn't need a website......lol
    He's absolutely wrong as far as it not being probable cause for a traffic stop. Judges make mistakes, too. Lots of 'em.

    He is correct that NCIC does make the occasional mistake. However, registration information is not available through NCIC. Normally, it's the states' own DOT databases, or in the case of an out-of-state plate, it's NLETS.

    In any case, if a mistake were listed in a registration file, it's not the officer making the stop's fault. The probable cause would still fall under the Good Faith exception.

    Sounds to me like your city attorney failed to argue the case properly. I take it this is Municipal Court, and the case was a civil forfeiture only?

  3. #3
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    I've done that and still won the cases.

    I've looked at a tag in March, it looks like it says Jan, but it's really Jun.

    So, stop 'em, and oh what do you know, they're drunk

    Take 'em to jail, say you stoped them based on expired reg, and out of good faith I've won.
    No one has greater love than this, to lay down ones life for ones friends - John 15:13

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  4. #4
    Cross240 is offline Temporarily Civilianized
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    Thats the reason i was asking, He just mentioned between a couple of my cases the other day. An yea, he's a city judge so his opinion didn't carry all that much weight with me. I've never heard that before, and cant find anything at all about it.

    But to clarify what i was meaning, say you run registration 321-Abc and its displayed on a 99 Ford mustang, but comes back registered to a 74 Ford Truck. He is saying that I can not pull this vehicle over, just because it has wrong tags. I can find another reason to pull them over, and charge them with it, but because computers make mistakes, then I cant use that as my Probable cause.

  5. #5
    Curt581 is offline Whatever
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    Quote Originally Posted by Cross240
    But to clarify what i was meaning, say you run registration 321-Abc and its displayed on a 99 Ford mustang, but comes back registered to a 74 Ford Truck. He is saying that I can not pull this vehicle over, just because it has wrong tags. I can find another reason to pull them over, and charge them with it, but because computers make mistakes, then I cant use that as my Probable cause.
    False.

    What are the odds that it's a computer error, versus that it's some goof hanging bad tags on his car because he's too lazy to register it properly?

  6. #6
    Magnum440 is offline Older Than Dirt
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    My advice? Do what you have to do.
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    "The good Lord set definite limits on man's wisdom, but set no limits on his stupidity and that's not fair!" Konrad Adenauer,

  7. #7
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    kdm0409 is offline ^ Female Deputy
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    We stop them for that all the time. How do you know the vehicle isn't stolen until you run the VIN # b/c the tag was wrong, well HELLO, you have to stop the vehicle to check. My husband works in a city, where the judge gets like that as well, of course they throw all the TCA codes and everything back in his face about it too! lol Any way you look at it, it is improper registration. I have stopped a vehicle b/c his tag was covered with mud and I couldn't read it at all. Come to find out the guy was drunk, driving on suspended license and had 2 warrants for his arrest. Everything went fine with my stop b/c I used improper registration has my PC for the stop and it was held up in court. But some judges can be pains about things like that.
    It is better to be tried by 12, than carried by 6.
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  8. #8
    Jks9199 is offline The Reason People Hate Cops & Causer of War
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    The standard for stopping a car is reasonable suspicion of criminal activity or a traffic violation, right?

    While it's absolutely possible that there is a computer data error, it's equally possible that the tags really are dead or on the wrong car, right?

    So, I'd say it all comes down to articulation.

    Compare two accounts:

    I stopped the car because the computer said the tags were dead (or belonged on a different car or whatever).

    versus

    I ran the license plates, and the return indicated that they had expired. The car was displaying a valid year sticker. I suspected that the year sticker might have been stolen, so I stopped the car. (Or the return indicated the tags belonged on a Ford, and the car in front of me was a Honda, so I thought that the car or tags might have been stolen.)

    And I bet you only have to do that with this particular judge, and maybe even only if certain attorneys think to question the basis of your stop. I'd say that a sharp prosecutor could have gotten you out of this real quick, and that you probably could have done it as well, if you only remembered that the standard for the stop isn't PC, it's reasonable and articulable suspicion -- which is a very different thing altogether. (A traffic stop really starts as a Terry detention unless you already have PC... See Whren v US, Berkemer v McCarty and Pennsylvania v Bruder)

  9. #9
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    StanSwitek is offline Corporal
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    The judge is wrong. You local prosecutor needs to file the necessary appeal to correct this.

  10. #10
    TXCharlie's Avatar
    TXCharlie is offline Former & Future Reserve Officer
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jks9199
    The standard for stopping a car is reasonable suspicion of criminal activity or a traffic violation, right?
    That's what it is in Texas - Probable Cause is only required for an arrest (or to issue a ticket, I assume - I'm still a novice CJ student/wantabe at this).

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  11. #11
    Retdetsgt's Avatar
    Retdetsgt is offline How did I get here!
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    That's baloney. Switched plates are often an indication of a stolen vehicle.
    When I used to be somebody (I'm center top)

    "A burning desire for social justice is never a substitute for knowing what you're talking about". -Thomas Sowell-

  12. #12
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    zpd307 is offline Master Officer
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    where do i start? judges are egotistical assholes and ettes. it seems as though they become judges to be able to assert their opinions, and we all know what opinions are like! anyway, pull the car over to verify the info on the computer. and write better reports to stay out of court. articulation is the key. thats the short of it. at least all of you have computers in your squads.

  13. #13
    Retdetsgt's Avatar
    Retdetsgt is offline How did I get here!
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    Quote Originally Posted by zpd307
    at least all of you have computers in your squads.
    I only had an abacus.
    When I used to be somebody (I'm center top)

    "A burning desire for social justice is never a substitute for knowing what you're talking about". -Thomas Sowell-

  14. #14
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    Thats totally absurd. But if it makes u feel any better, we had a judge that said this in court and i qoute " I uh's don't thinks its rights, for the po-leece to be tryings to pull peoples over in unmarked patrol cars. I thinks peoples should be able to notice and observe marked police cars so they are given a chance to obey the law firsts." and i ain't shitting ya! Hang in there and keep doin your thing! Hes just one judge.

    Duncan

  15. #15
    Cross240 is offline Temporarily Civilianized
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    Thanks for the replys.

  16. #16
    Cross240 is offline Temporarily Civilianized
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    That idiot now has the head dispatchers beleiving it. The dispatcher that works my shift, told me that the head dispatcher told them the only time we can run a tag is after we have the vehicle stopped. Well obviously that started a Rant an Rave session by yours truely.

    Just for the sake of argument, lets say this is true. How big of an officer safety issue would that be? Evernow an then I'll run a tag on a car if i'm stopping it for something else, just to make sure they are not Bank robbers who have a itch for killing the poleece. Maybe its just me, but that is the stupidest thing i've heard in awhile.

    I'm still writin tickets for it.... I cant remember what he did with the case i had on the registration that brought this up, probably through it out. But regardless, i'm still slingin ink for it.

  17. #17
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    Can only run a tag once you have a vehicle stopped? If you do not have laptops in your car, you need to get all over this with your supervisors NOW. This creates a serious officer safety issue.
    In law enforcement, the customer is ALWAYS wrong.

    In God we trust. Everyone else is run through NCIC.

    Sometimes there is justice. Sometimes there is just us.

    I'd rather be tried by 12 then carried by 6.

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  18. #18
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    lepdford is offline K-9 Officer
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    Quote Originally Posted by Cross240
    That idiot now has the head dispatchers beleiving it. The dispatcher that works my shift, told me that the head dispatcher told them the only time we can run a tag is after we have the vehicle stopped. Well obviously that started a Rant an Rave session by yours truely.

    Just for the sake of argument, lets say this is true. How big of an officer safety issue would that be? Evernow an then I'll run a tag on a car if i'm stopping it for something else, just to make sure they are not Bank robbers who have a itch for killing the poleece. Maybe its just me, but that is the stupidest thing i've heard in awhile.

    I'm still writin tickets for it.... I cant remember what he did with the case i had on the registration that brought this up, probably through it out. But regardless, i'm still slingin ink for it.
    findlaw.com

    Look up some case law on the subject and educate your people (with tact)!!!

    You don't want to get into a pissing match with a Judge...you will loose, even if you win.
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