My boyfriend & I get pulled over by a VA state cop, for “following too closely” on the interstate. He asks for my registration & my license even tho i wasnt driving. My bf doesn’t have his license on him so he looks it up. Then comes back to the car & tells my bf to come to his car to talk about whats going on.He shows my bf the picture of his license on the scanner & tells him hell get a ticket for following closley. My bf comes in my car & we wait 40 mins bc the officer never gave him the ticket. Now 2 more cars pull up & a cop comes to my window & says we need to get out so the k9 can sniff my car, i say i refuse for search but she made me get out & handcuffs us both & searches us. We stand outside handcuffed for another 30 mins in 35 degrees weather, mind you im pregnant. The dog walks around 4 times then she then tells them to search my car. I ask what right they have and they say the cop had suspicion, but she didnt know what it was. I go on to say its because my bf is black & has tattoos. They find nothing in my car as I knew they wouldn’t bc i dont do drugs nor does my car have any oder. I think this was all bullshit & was completely bc what my boyfriend looks like.
You and your boyfriend will want to consult a civil rights attorney because these cases hinge on very specific facts. In short, if the police lacked any reasonable suspicion to detain you and search your car for anything other than a traffic infraction, yes, it was a violation of your civil rights.
But from a lawsuit perspective, it's unlikely that you will have much recourse that makes it worthwhile. There is no doubt that you were embarrassed, frustrated to be held up for 40 minutes or so, and felt as though you were unfairly targeted by the police, but overall, you were not 'damaged' substantially by the delay. You and your boyfriend were not charged by the police with any crimes. Overall, it's unlikely that you would recover much from a lawsuit, which may not make it worth your while.
Again, it still would not hurt to consult a civil rights attorney with this kind of case as sometimes there are facts you did not mention that may make it worthwhile.
This answer provides general advice and should not be understood as to create an attorney-client relationship between the questioner and the responding attorney.
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