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Can you be pulled over if you didn't commit a traffic violation?
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Can you be pulled over if you didn't commit a traffic violation?

I was driving home from work and my license is suspended which i shouldn't do, and a cop pulled me over.

I asked him if i committed a traffic violation and he said "No you'r driving a vehicle registered to someone with an suspended license which is all the reason I need to pull you over."

He then takes me out of the car and arrests me without even knowing my name or anything.

Is that legal?
Additional Details
The car has current tags so it isn't an Illegal vehile.

Ty for telling me what you think of me i dont need that info I'd just rather know if they can just pull me over cause they suspect im driving it.

What if my brother was driving it?


All they need is probable cause, being registered to someone with a suspended license is probable cause!


When the officer runs the tag on the vehicle and it indicates that the registered owner's driver license is suspended, most courts have ruled that is REASONABLE SUSPICION to stop the vehicle. Some states, such as Florida, also allow officers to view a photograph of the driver's driver license picture, so if the officer saw the picture and recognized it as being the driver, that would raise to the level of probable cause. Also a police officer does not need probable cause to run the tag on a vehicle. In fact I run tags at random all the time.

yes. you answered your own question anyways. your license was suspended and youshouldnt be driving anyways. you probably had a dui or something and were risking the lives of all the other people on the road too when your license was suspended. people like you should have your driving privileges taken away, there is public transportation available and bicycles. use that.

also, yes you can be pulled over if you supposedly didnt commit a trafic violation. which you obviously did by driving and the officer checked it out by running the license plate.

Kenneth C
If your were at a checkpoint and were pulled over, then yes. At a checkpoint (generally a DWI ckpt or safety ckpt in which vehicles are pulled over using a system...every third car for example) an officer is allowed to pull you over and request your id and run your registration on their MDT. Another reason to pull you over is that you look underage and you were driving late at night. The officer is also allowed to pull you over to question you and request your id and regs. However, to just drive and be pulled over for no articulable reason, then to stop is wrong. You have had to have done something. "Changing lanes without signaling, broken tail light, etc." If you live in a small town where everyone knows each other and the officer KNOWS you and KNOWS that your license is suspended then they can just pull you over as well. I hope this helps clear it up for you.

Yes, he can since he did a license check. They do this all the time. Even random checks.

Although, I am actually wondering about the fact that he didn't ask for your ID. How did he know it was you?

kitty fresh & hissin' crew
Yes, it is legal.

Leigh P
Ok, you are driving on a suspended license and you're wondering about the legality of being pulled over and arrested? You've got to be kidding. Driving is not a right but rather a priviledge first off. Second, all an officer needs is reasonable suspicion that a person is involved in criminal activity to initiate a stop. Running your tag which results in a return showing the licensed drivers license is suspended is good enough to hook you up. The only question I would have would be why did he run your tag. It is my understanding (our State law) that an officer can't just randomly run vehicle registrations....just because. And if you are from a small town, chances are the officer knew who you were and knew your license to be suspended. I would suggest you get your drivers license situation taken care of so you are legal. And to answer your question about your brother, I would assume that your brother would have been allowed to leave if his license was current and he hadn't committed a traffic violation etc.

I have been pulled over by a police officer for no traffic violation. I asked the cop why he pulled me over and he said he thought I might have been drunk this is a 3:30am, I don't drink and was just went out for a drive to relax. Police do not need any reason other then suspected criminal action. It was your own fault for driving with a suspended license. So yes it is legal all the police officer has to say if you fight it is that your vehicle looked suspicious.

If your brother has a valid license than the police could not have charged him with anything. You need a valid license to drive and people just don't get that driving with a suspended license is a traffic violation.

Welcome to future, must police cars now have computers tied into data bases, on a public road the police can run your tags, and if the report comes back that the person who owns the car has a suspended license then that is probable cause to pull the car over and inspect

Yes, Russ is right all they need is probable cause. They not only can stop you, they can search you and your car. I don't know how they knew it was you driving without seeing your ID.

Astro;Andy H.
No you were in an illegal vehicle.

Yes, for various other reasons, like insurance check, tail light out, etc.

He obviously checked the vehicle registration on the computer which said owner had a suspended license and bingo!there is a valid reason to stop you.

Yup. The fact that you were driving with a suspended license IS a traffic violation.

They can pull you over for anything they want. They just can't ticket/charge you without reason (and they had reason - you were in violation of the law by driving with a suspended license).

EDIT: Jessy, my husband has never been drunk a day in his life, and his license was suspended over a forgotten speeding ticket (we'd had a baby, moved, started new jobs, it got overlooked). Try to not assume that suspended licenses happen because of DUIs only, okay?

My driver's ed. teacher said the cops do not need a reason to pull you over. They need a reason to search you or ticket you due to 4th amendment rights, but they had those reasons. I'm sorry but you're definitely out of luck here. If he took the time to run your plates through his computer, he probably also checked your liscense, which, when he saw it was suspended, he probably also saw your picture. So he didn't need to ask your name to know what it was. I'm sorry for you, but I don't think there's any way you can get out of this one :(

it is so sad that people support this cops,,,its only obvious either they are pigs or some one they love are pigs ..people act like they are angels like they actually serve and protect....It was a police that ran a 12 yr old boy over drunk driving and people actually came to court to support this pig claiming his job is very stressful and they need drinks to relax..so dont pay these melons any attention ,they are the same reason this country is falling apart

In Washington State, I would regularly run the license plate. State law says that if the registered owner of the vehicle came back with a suspended license, that was probable cause to stop the vehicle and check the driver. You knew you were suspended, you took the chance, why are you upset? You got caught!! SImple as that.

Eccentric Simplicity
not sure, but if the vehicle was illegal, it wouldn't matter who was driving it.

Yes, you can be pulled over for just about any reason, they might have a vehicle that matches yours' discription that has been reported stolen so they would check it out, or they might just pull you over for being suspicious.
It doesn't matter really who the vehicle is registered to, just if it is legal. (unless it is flagged as being stolen) Besides if he doesn't ask for ID then how would he know that the vehicle isn't registered to you?
Also he would have to ask to see some ID so he could verify that your license was suspended, he's not physic. He would have to radio in your ID # or name and date of birth to his dispatcher and they would verify that your license really was suspended. Furthermore, unless they knew that you had been driving for quite a while knowing that your license is suspended, or if you had warrants out, they probably wouldn't arrest you. They would simply write you a citation, take your license from you and advise you that if they seen you driving again then they would arrest you.

with what you said no he could not pull you over he had no probably cause to run the plate..unless he know s the car and the driver, who it is registered to-who has the suspended lic..once he has a right to pull it over then yes everything Else He did was legal
unfortunately just about anything gives him probable cause to run the plate, driving too fast, or slow, weaving, suspicious vehicle, random checks, road blocks etc.

i was pulled over because the officer say i was driving on the wrong side of the road which is a lie because he told me on the scene the reason why he stopped me is because he thought i was someone else but in the report he said i was on the wrong side of the road i was taken to jail because my liscense are suspended but he did not give me a ticket for driing on the wrong side of the road is that still probable cause.

to the people commenting on his driving with his license suspended.... get a life!! public transportation, yea you go ahead and try that, sometimes its just does not work. If the bus us late, thus making u late for work, bam ur fired!! not to mention that it makes virtually impossible for you to work a regular job if u have kids that go to daycare, and need to be picked up by 6 and u don't get off work till 4:30 or 5... please ppl get off your high horse and respect the fact that he knows he was driving illegally.... there is wide variety of reasons why his license could be suspended... times are hard man... sheesh!! and as far as a privilege... whoopty doo, so what. who died and made u the infallible one who gets to make judgments. Personally, I think its crap that u can be pulled over just because the car is registered to a person who has a suspended license... someone else could be driving it... and not to mention their behinds should be worrying bout drug dealers and pedophiles, not someone who is driving with their license suspended.... i think all of you judgmental, stereotypical, assinine people are putting the world in jeapordy, by opening your mouths.... he didn't ask for an opinion, he asked for facts.... didn't ur mother's teach how to follow directions!!

the same thing happened to my boyfriend the other night. he was on his lunch break and forgot to grab his lunch and didn't have money on him so he went to the atm and got pulled over wasn't doing a thing wrong cop just ran his plants and he got a ticket. i would go to court and try to fight it cause i believe if they pull you over just over running your plates and your license being suspended they need to prove that it is you driving the car before they pull you over. good luck!! i agree w/ mmelly211 there is no reason to be cutting him down for driving w/ a suspended license everyone does it and it doesn't mean that he was drunk you idiot. you have no clue i lost my license for 1 unpaid ticket. so don't say things unless you know the truth.

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