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traffic stop Archives

General Inquiries Are Permissible in Any Traffic Stop

Traffic stops are a common kind of encounter between a police officer and a citizen. While the legality of the initial stop must be considered, there have been a number of Tennessee cases in recent years dealing with the permissible scope of an investigation following a lawful stop. Even after a lawful stop, a citizen may not be detained unreasonably. In the recent Court of Criminal Appeals case of State v. Bourrage, M2014-01194-VVA-R3-CD (Tenn.Crim.App. 5-26-2015), the Court noted that requests for driver's licenses and registration documents, as well as "inquiries concerning travel plans and vehicle ownership, computer checks, and the issuance of citations are investigative methods or activities consistent with the lawful scope of any traffic stop."

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