IS IT ILLEGAL FOR POLICE TO USE LICENSE PLATE SCANNERS IN FLORIDA FOR EVIDENCE IN COURT

Asked about 1 year ago - Daytona Beach, FL

IM WONDERING IF POLICE USE THE LIC. PLATE SCANNER TO ID A DRIVER, BUT THE DRIVER WAS NOT THE CAR OWNER. CAN THEY THEN QUESTION THE OWNER OF CAR'S WIFE? ASKING WHO MIGHT OF BEEN DRIVING? IF DRIVER GOT AWAY, AND IF SHE SAYS NO, BUT THESE ARE HIS FRIENDS NAMES, CAN THEY THEN ISSUE A WARRANT FOR FRIENDS NAMES MENTIONED WITH NO PROOF IT WAS ONE OF THEM DRIVING...

ALSO, DRIVER OF CAR DID NOT GET PULLED OVER. THE COP WAS SPEAKING TO A PERSON OUTSIDE PATROL CAR, WHEN FINISHED HE WALKED TOWARD DRIVERS CAR AND BEFORE HE COULD SAY ANYTHING DRIVER DROVE OFF

Attorney answers (4)

  1. Michael Adam Haber

    Pro

    Contributor Level 20

    5

    Lawyers agree

    Answered . I'm sorry but your question is confusing. Still, I'll take a stab in the dark and maybe at least hit upon something relevant....

    I have recently had 2 cases where, in each, my client was stopped for no moving violation whatsoever but because a cop had "ran" the license plate (a "routine check"), which they are free to do (you have no privacy interest or 4th amendment protection in your vehicle's license plate) which revealed that the registered owner of the vehicle had a suspended driver license. 1 case we won and the other we lost. The one that we won was because it turned out that the driver was not only not the registered owner, but was not even the same sex as the registered owner, and, moreover, couldn't reasonably be confused as remotely meeting the physical description of the registered owner. The one that I lost was the exact opposite situation: The registered owner was the driver and did have a suspended DL (the cop testified that the routine tag check revealed the owners suspension, then a computer search of the owner/driver's DL showed the picture, the officer made the observation, put 1 and 1 together and effected the stop.

    Law enforcement can ask questions of anyone anywhere at anytime. The relevant question is whether the individual being questioned is a) free to leave and b) has been compelled to speak, either by force, threat or intimidation.

    If a driver is stopped by a cop on the roadside a drives off without being told to do so then the driver may face felony charges.

    Given the confusing wording of your question I don't know what else to tell you except that you should consider making an appointment and sitting down with a Daytona area criminal defense lawyer who can listen to your question (as opposed to reading it) and follow-up with questions of her/his own.

    In that regard, and although I practice primarily in Miami-Dade County you are welcome to contact my office for a referral or two, or you can search the Florida Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers website by locality (please see http://www.facdl.org/ - and click on the "Find A Lawyer" tab).

    Otherwise, perhaps some of my esteemed (and smarter) colleagues will chime in.

    Either way best of luck.

  2. Robert Jason De Groot

    Pro

    Contributor Level 20

    4

    Lawyers agree

    Answered . No, it is not illegal for the cops to use a license plate scanner. In order to assist you, we would have to read the entire police report and any statements of witnesses. See if you can get a copy and take them to a local attorney, to ask these questions. There will be questions for you too which must be asked to get a complete view of the circumstances and advise as to what needs to be done.

    R. Jason de Groot, Esq., 386-337-8239
  3. Justin Gary Hausler

    Contributor Level 16

    3

    Lawyers agree

    Answered . When it comes to checking license plates, the police can pull over a vehicle if the registered owner's license is suspended and the physical description matches the person they see behind the wheel. What were the charges? Did the officer give a basis for the stop?

    Free Consultations can be made by calling 407-617-1064. Please understand that the information given is not to be... more
  4. Joshua Eli Adams

    Contributor Level 14

    3

    Lawyers agree

    Answered . It depends, and it is not clear from your question what the answer would be. Law enforcement generally need probably cause in order to detain a person. If they don't have PC, evidence found as a result of an illegal detention may be suppressed.

    In order to admit evidence in trial, the state would have to authenticate it and it would have to be admissible.

    Feel free to contact me to speak about this if you have questions.

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