Have you ever wondered why police officers touch the car before they talk to you?

Have you ever been pulled over and wondered why the police officer touched your car before he talked to you? It's not because he was double checking if it was actually your car; it's because that’s one of the signs that he’s going to ask you to get out of the car.

Have you ever wondered why police officers touch the car before they talk to you?
Have you ever wondered why police officers touch the car before they talk to you?

In this article, we’ll explore why police officers touch the car before they ask you to get out, and what other nonverbal cues might mean that he’s asking you to step out of the vehicle.

Why Police Officers Touch the Cars

When a driver is pulled over by a police officer, he or she may wonder why it takes so long for an officer to approach.

  • Usually, an officer has a lot of people driving in front of him or her at any given time. When that happens, an officer might call out your license plate number and radio it into dispatch. Officers are required to touch every car they come across during traffic stops.
  • This is done as a precautionary measure and helps them be safe when approaching vehicles. However, if it’s late at night and there aren’t many cars on the road, an officer can conduct traffic stops more quickly.
  • The key thing to remember here is that no matter what a patrolman says or does while conducting a traffic stop, always treat him with respect.

Legal Standing of Traffic Stops

An officer must have a reasonable suspicion that a driver or passenger has committed, is committing, or is about to commit a crime in order for them to lawfully initiate an investigative stop.

  • Once a stop has been initiated, an officer may search any area within their immediate control if they have probable cause and/or reasonable suspicion that there are illegal items or contraband in that area.
  • That includes reaching into an open window and touching your steering wheel, inspecting your trunk and asking if you have any illegal items in your car.
  • An officer cannot ask to look through all of your belongings during a traffic stop unless they obtain permission from their supervisor first.
  • The law prohibits searches of passengers, who do not need probable cause or reasonable suspicion in order for an officer to believe criminal activity is occurring.

What Police Can Search

Have you ever wondered why police officers touch the car before they talk to you?
What Police Can Search

Police have extensive powers when it comes to searching people or property, but what does a search entail? A general search is when an officer looks around for any evidence of criminal activity.

An officer will look in areas that are immediately accessible and visible, like glove compartments and under seats. If an officer asks to search your bag or backpack, he might be looking for weapons or drugs. 

In most cases, if an officer suspects there’s contraband inside of your car he can do a more detailed search by opening up panels and containers under your seat.

What Police Cannot Search

Police cannot search your house, your car, or any other place without a warrant or probable cause.

Even if an officer had reason to suspect you of committing a crime and wanted to search your home, he could not do so.The only exception is for border areas; if an officer has reasonable suspicion that someone may try to smuggle drugs across the U.S.-Canada border and possesses a valid government-issued passport from Canada (and can provide it upon request), that person can be searched up to 100 miles into U.S. territory without probable cause or warrant under federal law (see: United States v Ramsey). An arrestable offence is defined as an offence punishable by imprisonment for more than one year.

However most states have their own definitions for arrestable offences.

When Do I Need a Lawyer?

If a police officer asks for your license and registration, there’s nothing unusual about that. It’s just another stop on their patrol route, and it’s their job to make sure everyone is behaving safely on the road. But if your papers aren’t in order or you just didn’t have them with you, now could be a good time to call a lawyer.

The reason: everything that happens next is recorded as part of your legal record.

The Power of Silence

There are two steps in how most law enforcement professionals handle a traffic stop.

The first step is radioing into dispatch that they've made contact with a driver; once radioed in, these agencies' databases will run a quick check for outstanding warrants and outstanding tickets.

Once drivers are clear on that front, some agencies also ask their officers to run another check—this time using computerized license plate recognition (LPR) technology.

This scan will give law enforcement officials an idea of whether there's any outstanding state or federal alerts on a given vehicle—as well as whether or not it's stolen or has been reported stolen.

What To Do When Arrested

Have you ever been arrested for a traffic violation and are wondering what to do if a cop asks, Do you know why I pulled you over? If so, our guide will help prepare your mind.

It is important that when answering questions from a law enforcement officer; especially after being stopped for violating traffic laws, that our responses be truthful. 

Officers cannot detect lies and should not be asked leading questions which may cause us to tell untruths which would result in additional charges being filed against us.

If there are any inconsistencies between what we say and what actually happened it can only cause additional problems at that time or later on during court proceedings. In addition, because many cases involve multiple people being involved in an accident including passengers and drivers of other vehicles which were involved, it is even more important that everyone's story match exactly as much as possible because otherwise defense attorneys will use these incongruities against us as evidence of inconsistency or lack of memory.

The best policy is always to remain silent until legal counsel has had an opportunity to review our case with us personally.

SOURCE : Yasoquiz

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