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Thank You Police: Red Cars Get More Attention

 
Old 04-16-2008, 01:52 PM
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kraabel
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Default Thank You Police: Red Cars Get More Attention

I got up early this morning, had breakfast, showered and was on my way to the office. It's finally nice out so I had the sunroof open and I was enjoying the drive into the office. I came around the corner and got ready to pull into our parking lot when a cop pulls a U-turn right behind me and follows me into the lot with his lights flashing.

Considering I was turning into the lot, I was pretty sure my speedometer wasn't off by 40 MPH.

Both officers get out, unbuckle their guns and walk up to the car. Typical questions:

Officer: Is this your car?
Me: Yes
O: Do you know why I pulled you over?
M: No
O: Your license is suspended
M: I think there must be a mistake, I just renewed my license 2 and a half weeks ago
O: It shows it's suspended to me. Show me your license, registration and proof of insurance
M: Here is is
O: Why is your license clipped
M: Um ... because I just got it renewed (thinking inside: der) -- and they clipped it
[I think they've been doing that since the beginning of time, Officer.]
O: Stay right here and don't move
M: Ok

A nice steady stream of the office starts to drive past me sitting in my car with the cops (probably watching a movie behind me in their cruiser). At that point, I was just angry that I was going to get a bad parking spot, despite getting here early.

O: [walks back to the car] I'm issuing you a citation for driving with a suspended license and I'm going to impound your car.
M: What?
O: Yes, can you step out of the car? Take your belongings
M: Yes, but I work right here [points to the office]
O: Just get out of the car, sir
M: But I just ...

I start to roll up the window and he gets a little agitated about that and repeats that I need to get out of the car. Then he puts on his "I'm gonna search this car for drugs gloves."

Really? Is that really necessary?

At this point, I'm not longer smiling and I'm not in a particularly great mood. I tell the officer that I'll need the key to get the tow hook out of the back of the car so that the tow truck driver doesn't rip off my front bumper. He says no and won't let me tell him where it is to get it out. Later the tow truck driver pretty much buckles the entire front spoiler and front bumper under the car when he drives onto the flatbed.

I don't think I look too much like a meth addict or drug dealer (then again, I don't know any drug dealers, so I don't know what they look like). So, I'm wondering who pissed them off this morning.

M: Officer, I just got my license renewed 2 weeks ago. Why didn't they mention to me that my license was suspended?
O: I can't answer that for you
M: Well ... it seems to me that it would be something they would need to tell me at the DMV, don't you think?
O: You'll have to ask them
M: Can I get someone in the office [or one of the 20 people that are driving by watching me get arrested] to just park the car?
O: No, we're impounding the car
M: [shrugs]

What I really wanted to say was: "You guys are a lot more funny on RENO 911 and C.O.P.S."

So, after 4 phone calls around town I finally found someone that told me I had a $20 reinstatement fee from a parking ticket that was paid late (or probably just processed whenever they felt like it). Yes! $20. A $20 fee that nobody at the DMV told me about, I got no letter in the mail and there really was no way I was going to find out about it until I called and asked why my new license hadn't come in the mail.

Oh, how I can't wait until government is also in charge of our health care. They've done wonders with so many other services.

Patient: No, I have a sore throat, doctor
Doctor: I'm sorry, it shows that you're deceased
Patient: No, I'm right here. Very much alive
Doctor: Well, I have to make the paperwork match up with your condition. I'm really sorry about this, but we're going to have to kill you.

Needless to say, the next time I get a phone call from the Policemen's Ball or other fundraising organization, I think I will politely decline the donation this year.

Cheers!
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Old 04-16-2008, 02:00 PM
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If you just got your license renewed, the DMV will show it right away. If he didn't check the computer properly, you may have a lawsuit on your hands, especially if the car was damaged. Although it's always 'his word against yours' BS that causes defendants to lose.
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Old 04-16-2008, 02:04 PM
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Ouch, you're taking it pretty well considering the situation. I'd be livid if an officer was unwilling to at least be polite and offer to help. I would be even more pissed about the damage to the car considering they could easily have avoided it.

Seems to me that maybe there are too many police with not enough real crimes?
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Old 04-16-2008, 02:09 PM
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I cannot imagine my rage if I were faced with that. I'm steamed just sitting here reading it.
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Old 04-16-2008, 02:46 PM
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Well, it seems like cops are the same in the states as in Sweden... It┤s not hard to understand why "A.C.A.B" is such a popular thing to stripe at the rear bumper or rear window.

When can you get your car back?

/Best regards, Tobias
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Old 04-16-2008, 02:52 PM
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It sounds like the cop was overreacting but information did he have? You had a clipped (deactivated) expired license and no valid one. In the computer it says your license was suspended. How much info is is on his screen? Maybe none, other than "Suspended License" or "Suspended due to unpaid parking tickets." Remember that cops get lied to a lot and many people probably tell them that the license is in the mail or whatever. Should the cop believe everyone with a story?

-Joel.
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Old 04-16-2008, 03:01 PM
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OK so just for fun they punched your car license number into their computer. It was registered to you so they then ran your drivers license number to see if you had one !! Which is why they asked first if it was YOUR CAR !
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Old 04-16-2008, 03:09 PM
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Wow, that sucks. I'm pissed reading it.
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Old 04-16-2008, 03:14 PM
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Sorry to hear about your misfortune. But somethign doesn't add up here... whenever I've renewed my license they always give me a little piece of paper (sometimes stabled to the old license) which shows I've renewed it. I know they use to do that when I lived in MN. Don't they do that anymore?

But I have to say, if you have an outstanding ticket, it is your responsibility to pay it, not the state's responsibility to notify you. That said, I've never heard of any jurisdiction summarily suspending someone's license becasue of an unpaid ticket without at least attempting to notify the licensed individual. They want the money, not your license. So it doesn't make sense.

Something doesn't quite add up here.

Lord Galva where are you?
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Old 04-16-2008, 03:19 PM
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A bit of legal info borrowed from a website...".......In a 2-1 ruling, a three-judge panel from the 6th Circuit agreed. They said that "a motorist has no reasonable expectation of privacy in the information contained on his license plate under the Fourth Amendment...The very purpose of a license plate number, like that of a Vehicle Identification Number, is to provide identifying information to law enforcement officials and others." (The majority also rejected Ellison's argument that he was racially profiled because he was black.)

In a dissent, however, Judge Karen Nelson Moore said the U.S. Attorney raised the argument at a late stage and it should be rejected. Without more information collected by the trial judge, such as how much information on the general public is available on the LEIN system, Moore said, it's impossible to evaluate how intrusive the computer check is.

Moore said that the key point was not whether police could read someone's license plate but under what circumstances they could perform an extensive search of computer databases. She said the FBI's National Crime Information Center system contains more than 23 million records about people and vehicles--not all accurate or up-to-date--and "allowing the information contained therein to form the basis for a seizure without any other heightened suspicion, let alone probable cause, compounds the risk of privacy intrusions that errors in these databases impose." ...........
There really are some issues in my mind about how they can SELECTIVELY run one plate number and not ALL plate numbers....
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Old 04-16-2008, 03:20 PM
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Another reason why I hate pigs. He could of just let your car sit, but noooooooooooooo the city wants to generate more money from impounding your car.

Everytime I get pulled over I feel like I'm a victim of armed robbery. I still got warrants out on me in California for 20+ unpaid parketing tickets and never showing up for my 4th driving on a suspend license charge which is probably a month+ in jail. But I refuse to settle that, because on my 2nd conviction I did 5 days in jail in Sac country and in 5 days in jail Riverside for the same charge, double idemnity clause I'm using against them so I'm not doing crap on the 4th one.

Even though that was 15 years ago and past the statue of limitations. Some CA piggie probably would have the come up on the puter and throw me in jail. One reason I hate ever going back to CA for visit is possible jail rape from illegal aliens in a CA county jail over a old ****.

CA, Kentucky, Alabama are places that won't extradite me but I won't go there anymore.

Officer: Is this your car?

Trick question, never answer yes. Instead say WAS yours but it was sold to another person that morning.

See the piggie already knew your license was suspended when he pulled you over. When you told him that was your car to the loaded question that probably determined right then your car was going to be impounded. The crewcut piggie will later brag to his heavily armed jarhead cop steriod coworkers he impounded a Porsche and add the guy wanted to cry so the pigs can laugh about you in the station.

O: Do you know why I pulled you over?
M: No


Another loaded trick question designed for self incrimination. You answered it correctly.

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Old 04-16-2008, 03:20 PM
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If you were on private property at your place of business was it still lawful of them to impound your car from there? Man convoluted bureaucracy sure sux...
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Old 04-16-2008, 03:28 PM
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Originally Posted by Red UFO View Post
Another reason why I hate pigs.
Come on guys, can't we rise above LEO bashing?

Don't blame the officer for doing his job, blame your state or city's laws that allow a car to be impounded for unpaid parking tickets.

Besides, I would think it would take more than one to get a car impounded.

Also, people don't get parking tickets, cars do, which explains why the car was impounded but you were not arrested.

Something ain't adding up here.....

Last edited by cold_beer839; 04-16-2008 at 07:55 PM.
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Old 04-16-2008, 03:31 PM
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Originally Posted by Red UFO View Post
Sweet!
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Old 04-16-2008, 03:32 PM
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The following does not constitute legal advice and I am not your lawyer!!!

You have a pretty solid case, but not necessarily against the PO. He's "just doing his job" and as mentioned probably has some very limited information on his computer screen. You did in fact have an outstanding fine. To be sure, he didn't need to be so over the top, but that was within his discretion. If they searched your car without your consent, however... you'd have a different case altogether. He'd need some reasonable articulable suspicion that your car contained evidence of criminal activity to give him probable cause to search your car. This was not a search incident to arrest because you weren't arrested.

However, it sounds like you went to the DMV, in person, and they said nothing to you about this fine at the time you renewed your license. You reasonably relied on the DMV's info and employee, and suffered damages as a result of their negligence. I'd send a demand letter to the DMV for damages. You might run into sovereign immunity problems, though.

Had this been me, I would be in jail... for having assaulted a police officer. I salute you for your calm demeanor.
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