PDA

View Full Version : Must stay in car during traffic stop?


locosway
07-17-2009, 11:39 PM
I understand why cops want people to stay in their cars when conducting a traffic stop. Not only is it safer for the cop, but also for the driver.

However, I'm curious about something I read where the driver exited the car and that gave the officer reasonable suspicion that there might be something illegal in the car and started asking questions and then conducted a search without consent being given or even asked.

So, my question is... are people required to stay in their vehicles and can an officer order you to do so? Also, does someone exiting their vehicle throw up a flag to you or constitute PC for a search?

4X4Guns
07-17-2009, 11:44 PM
I got pulled over once on a VERY hot day so I asked the highway patrol man whether it would be OK to step out of the car and he had no problem with that. I guess it depends on the LEO.

alex00
07-18-2009, 12:09 AM
Yes, I can order you to stay in or out of the car, depending on the conditions of the stop. The traffic stop is a detention, and according to court rulings, passengers and driver can be ordered to move, or not move. Under most conditions, I don't want you out of the car. Generally if I ask you out of the car it is to search, or detain you in my car.

As far as PC or reasonable suspicion, any number of things you do or say can lead me to believe you have something illegal in your car. I know there is a great fear of getting searched by us, but the likelihood of me searching someone who is not on probation/parole, has a driver's license, and does not give consent is very very low.

So, the answer to your question is that if you get out of the car, on your own, it will raise a flag for me. The act of getting out of the car, alone, may not give me PC. What you do after that may.

Ron-Solo
07-18-2009, 12:11 AM
There are so many variables, but yes they can order you to stay in your car and yes they can order you out of your car. Refusal to comply can be arrestable under 148 PC.

Sometimes it is a red flag, sometimes it's not. Just too many variables to give you a firm "ALWAYS" type answer. That's the hard part about police work, figuring out who's who. Goodguys look like bad guys and vice versa.

eltee
07-18-2009, 11:19 AM
I got pulled over once on a VERY hot day so I asked the highway patrol man whether it would be OK to step out of the car and he had no problem with that. I guess it depends on the LEO.

(emphasis added)

Also depends on the nature of the stop, environmental and geographical conditions, lighting, how many in the car vs. how many cops, etc.