E-Newsletter Edition: May 23, 2007

Always note that state law may be more restrictive on police power than the U.S. Constitution.

{paraphrased} A Patrolman pulled a vehicle over for no rear registration light and after ID of the driver the patrolman found that the driver’s license was suspended. He was taken into custody and the passenger was then ID’d to determine if he had a valid ID to take custody of the vehicle. He gave a fake name (kept returning No Record) and continued to mislead the officers for around an hour before finally slipping up and giving his real name.

My question is this: About midway into questioning the passanger, the patrolman wanted to bring him to a neighboring police department, that has the LiveScan® fingerprint system, for the purpose of getting a prompt return on who he is. The supervisor on duty told the patrolman that he could not legally take the passenger to the police department to determine his identity.

Could you provide guidence on the legal protocol for this situation…


This is kind of an old question that was well settled but does come up from time to time-

The case on point is Dunaway v. New York- there are others as well that stand for the proposition that before you take someone to a police station- there must be probable cause to believe a crime has been committed and this is the person who committed it.

The Dunaway case went to the Supreme Court due to the fact that a Supervisor ordered that the Dunaway be picked up and brought to the station for investigation-in the Pizza Parlor robberies in New York. Once in the station- Dunaway confessed- everything was thrown out and the Court made clear that you cannot bring a person to the station without probable cause.

Print Friendly, PDF & Email