Operating a vehicle might feel so ordinary that it is downright boring. However, cars are extremely dangerous, and every year people are hurt or killed in accidents. Drivers must be licensed to operate a car, and the government maintains certain information about people and their driver’s licenses. When the police run your license, they may have access to a myriad of your personal information.
When the police run your license, they can see if your license is valid or suspended. They may also see why your license is suspended, like for a DUI or other charges. Things like bench warrants will also come up when the police run your license, and you may be arrested. Even though the police may access this information, they can only do so under certain circumstances. Running your license without a good reason may be unlawful.
If the police pull you over and run your license, they will likely find any incriminating information you would rather hide. If you were arrested, our Philadelphia criminal defense lawyers can assist you. Call The Law Offices of Lloyd Long at (215) 302-0171, and we can perform a free case review.
When Can the Police Run Your License in Philadelphia?
When people refer to law enforcement running a license, they typically mean one of two things. The police can run your driver’s license and run the license plate on your vehicle. It is important to understand that these are two different kinds of inspections and yield different information.
Running a plate typically comes back with information about the car and its owner. Information related to a driver’s license search tends to be more about that specific driver. This sometimes causes confusion because if you borrow someone else’s car, the information from the plates will not match the information from your license.
The circumstances under which the police can run a driver’s license or plate are somewhat different. Plates are on the outside of a vehicle and easily visible to all who pass by. Because there is no real privacy regarding license plates, the police may run them anytime they wish. Police officers have been known to run random driver’s license plates if they have a slow day. Sometimes, these searches reveal that the owner of the car has a suspended license. In those cases, the officer might pull the car over and, if the driver is the owner, issue a citation for driving on a suspended or revoked license.
A driver’s license search is more private and requires a good reason to be considered lawful. Typically, the police do not run your driver’s license unless they have already stopped you. To legally stop you, they must witness some sort of violation, like speeding or reckless driving. Similarly, equipment violations, like busted taillights, may also allow the police to stop you and run your license. Call our Philadelphia DUI defense lawyers for guidance if you were stopped by the police and are now facing charges.
What the Police See When Running Your License in Philadelphia
You are probably wondering exactly what the police can see when they run your license or plates. Many drivers assume the only thing the police can see is information related to your license, such as whether it is suspended and if you have any moving violations on your driving record. However, the police can see much more than that. Our Philadelphia motor vehicle crimes defense attorneys can help protect you from unlawful police overreach.
In a license search, the police can see any warrants out for your arrest. These warrants may be related to vehicular offenses, like DUIs or vehicular homicide, or they may be related to other crimes. The police can also see bench warrants, which are also issued for your arrest but not for criminal actions. Bench warrants are issued when people miss court dates or skip bail. The police can see these warrants in any state. If you have bench warrants in New Jersey, the police in Philadelphia will see them when they run your license. Warrants from another state may result in extradition.
As said before, the police will be able to see the status of your driver’s license. This may be different than the license status they can see when they run the plates on the car. The plates give information about the owner, not necessarily the driver. If you do not own the car in which you are pulled over, the police will definitely want to run your license. If your license is suspended, you could be ticketed.
Challenging an Arrest After the Police in Philadelphia Run Your License
If you were arrested after a routine traffic stop, it might have been because of the information found when the arresting officer ran your license. For example, if the police discovered your license was suspended at the time of the stop, you could be issued a very costly citation. We can challenge the ticket and any other charges related to the stop by invalidating the stop.
The police must have a good reason to pull a driver over. Generally, the police must witness a violation or have articulable reasonable suspicion that something is wrong. The police are not permitted to pull drivers over at random and check for violations. They are also prohibited from conducting stops based on arbitrary criteria, like the driver’s race or gender.
If you believe your stop was unlawful, the resulting criminal charges may also be unlawful. Our Northeast Philadelphia criminal lawyers can help protect you from unlawful police practices and unfair criminal charges.
Call Our Philadelphia Motor Vehicle Crimes Defense Attorneys
If the police pulled you over, they likely ran your plates and license. It is possible that if your stop was not lawful, any related searches and arrests are unlawful. Our Philadelphia motor vehicle crimes defense lawyers can help. Call The Law Offices of Lloyd Long at (215) 302-0171 for a free case review.