Is a it legal for a cop to check my arrest record during a traffic stop

Asked 9 months ago - Queens Village, NY

under cover police officer stopped me and never gave me a reason why. they asked about my arrest record, and i said ive been arrested before. then they took mt DL, and checked some database. He came back and asked the status of the charges, I said all dismissed. How is a regular cop able to do this, in a car computer, without any special permission or reason? is this legal?

Attorney answers (4)

  1. Eric Edward Rothstein

    Contributor Level 20

    2

    Lawyers agree

    Answered . The Officer probably checked in the NYPD computer. If the prior charges were dismissed the Officer would have seen you have a sealed case. There is nothing improper in the Officer doing this check.

    I am a former federal and State prosecutor and have been doing criminal defense work for over 17 years. I was... more
  2. Eric Sanders

    Contributor Level 13

    2

    Lawyers agree

    Answered . Yes it is legal. Actually it is a standard protocol within law enforcement community. I know because I retired from the NYPD. Additionally, I either represent or know law enforcement officials throughout the world and this same standard is followed during car stops or other street encounters.

    Answers to questions posted on the AVVO website as well as content contained on The Sanders Firm, P.C., website is... more
  3. Michael R Varble, Esq.

    Pro

    Contributor Level 17

    1

    Lawyer agrees

    Answered . Yes it's legal if he had a basis to stop you.

    The information provided herein is for informational purposes and should not be construed to establish an attorney... more
  4. Thomas J. Wagner

    Contributor Level 19

    2

    Lawyers agree

    Answered . Of course a police officer can check your rap sheet. In virtually every traffic stop the police are going to check for warrants for the occupants of the car. Your criminal record is a record kept by the government primarily for use by government prosecutors and law enforcement.

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