There is quite a bit of misinformation out there about how, when and why police officers can pull a person over. People seem to think that it is illegal for a police officer to “hide” and pull people over using radar. It’s been said that unmarked cars can’t pull people over at all.
How is a person supposed to believe that an unmarked car is actually an officer this day and age anyway? Just about anyone can go on the internet and purchase a light and fake identification. You can even purchase a police package vehicle easily online or at car auctions.
Here are some facts about unmarked police cars.
The Worst Case Scenarios
There are some very dangerous people out there. Undercover impersonators don’t generally go to such lengths for the fun of it. Fake undercovers have been targeting sex workers in recent years; kidnapping, harming and even murdering them.
Fake undercover cars have also been known to prey on women. Recently, a Police Officer in the Northeast was pulling over women and pretending to be an officer. Luckily, the young man was intoxicated and not getting an Oscar for best performance any time soon. His first mistake was driving a pickup truck. Still, the flashing light caused some victims to pull over.
In two separate tragedies in the deep south; fake officers pulled over and gun-downed their victims.
Not Only Citizens Get Fooled
On a less terrifying and serious note; people have actually pretended to be undercover and pulled over REAL police officers. A man in Minneapolis, Minnesota accidentally began to pull over a legitimate unmarked car and was instead arrested.
The officer being pulled over saw that the vehicle looked legitimate (an old police package Crown Victoria) and was close to falling for it. The car was even full of genuine police equipment.
Can an Unmarked Police Car Pull You Over?
Depending on what you are being pulled over for, what state you live in and on what time of day it is; an unmarked car can pull a citizen over. In most states, if you are being pulled over by an unmarked car; you are well-aware of what you have done wrong. Unmarked cars are generally used for ongoing criminal investigations or in serious traffic infractions. New York is using unmarked vehicles to catch drivers texting and driving.
Will an Unmarked Car Pull You Over?
Because of several incidents of impersonation and the potential for people to flee; unmarked cars are not generally inclined to pull over a person for running a red light. Unmarked cars and the detectives driving them; generally have bigger fish to fry. A ticket from an officer in unmarked car can also provoke a slew of legal defenses.
What to do if You Are Pulled Over by an Unmarked Car
Don’t just keep driving and ignore them. In many states; fleeing an officer is a violent felony. Keep the doors locked; crack the window and ask to see the officer’s badge. When in doubt; call 911 to verify that this is an officer. A real detective will understand taking these measures and may even offer to call a patrol car out.
As previously stated; generally, if an unmarked car is legitimately pulling you over; you have done something pretty bad and already know why you are getting pulled over. If you have been charged with a crim Click Here for a great Minnesota Criminal Defense Attorney.