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

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?

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Attorney answers 4


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.


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.

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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.

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

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