Serving the Fullerton Community Since 1922

The Hornet

The Hornet

Serving the Fullerton Community Since 1922

The Hornet

License and registration please

Every driver dreads those flashing lights and some of you may have been pulled over before. When the officer asks you for your license and registration, you kindly oblige. But what happens when the officer asks you to step out of your vehicle?

Do you have to get out?

No. You have the right to stay in your car, although it does look bad when if you don’t exit your vehicle. Most police officers are doing this as a safety precaution. But you have the right to stay in your vehicle.

What happens when the police ask if they can search your vehicle?

It depends. If you are on probation or parole, you do not have search and seizure rights. You must allow them to search the vehicle. But what if you are not on probation or parole?

Cops can only search your car for these five reasons:

1) You give them consent.
2) If something illegal is in “plain view” of the officers line of sight.
3) If you are being arrested, the cops can search the vehicle.
4) If the officer has probable cause to suspect a crime. For example: it’s not illegal to have blood on your front seats or a black-eye. If those two are observed, it could give an officer a reason to believe a crime has occurred.
5) If they have a warrant issued by a judge. If they have a warrant, you must let the cops search your vehicle.

Typically, traffic stops result in routine fines for minor offenses, such as forgetting to turn your blinker on or making a “California rolling stop.”

As a driver, take careful stock of what you are possibly being pulled over for and if there is anything illegal within the confine of your person, passengers’ possession, or within the vehicle.

Pull over only when it is safe to do so and make sure that you are always in possession of your license, registration and insurance documentation.

Most importantly, don’t give cops a reason to pull you over. Use your seat belt, obey traffic laws, safe speeds and never drive under the influence of drugs and alcohol.

By doing these minor things, you can avoid a traffic stop all together.

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