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Old 03-21-2012, 03:08 PM    (permalink
Ness
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Default Question about being pulled over.

Hey. I have a question about instances when a police officer pulls you over. It's a specific scenario and I really haven't gotten a straight answer yet through my research. Six years ago me and a friend of mine went on a cross country trip. We were in South Dakota I think when we were pulled over. The officer pulled up to the window of my friend's car, who was driving and asked him to roll down the window.

The first thing that happened was the officer asking for his driver's license. My friend immediately asked why he was being pulled over. The officer ignored this question and asked again in a not-so-good tone. He was an older white cop in around his late sixties and me being a black guy with a Chinese friend in South Dakota...well I had a feeling why we were stopped.

My friend complied to giving his license over even though we were not given a reason why were stopped, and it wasn't until ten minutes later that he still didn't know what he was pulled over for and a whole mess of things happened that ended up with him being asked to go to the squad car for questioning. We were just driving through the state.

I was just curious if you ask why you are being pulled over, and the officer doesn't tell you and just demands your driver's license...are they allowed to do that? Are they allowed to just ask for your driver's license before even telling you why you are stopped? Can you refuse to give your license before you know why you are pulled over? What is the proper way to go about this? Does it differ from state to state? What if an officer demands you give it over without a reason and you don't give it over? You can't be arrested right? You didn't commit a crime. The only thing you refused to do is give your license over when you weren't told why you were being stopped.

I mean, on the street in most states if a cop asks you for your ID you aren't obligated to give it to the officer as it's your right. If you are pulled over aren't you being detained for a short period? Shouldn't you be able to know why you are being detained for that short period before you hand your ID over? Because you can be parked already somewhere legally an officer can come to you and ask the same questions, which would be wrong...unless there is probable cause. Still, if it's probable cause shouldn't you be entitled to know what that is before you hand your ID over?


Now I know this is a rare circumstance. From what I've heard you are usually told what the problem is before they ask for your license. Well...at least from the folks I've heard from. Maybe this is routine in certain areas and they just skip to asking for people's ID's. And I know it's been six years, but I was watching some videos on YouTube about cops that didn't know proper laws when talking to people and/or just violating their rights. So I remembered this and I was just curious.
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Last edited by Ness : 03-21-2012 at 03:13 PM.
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