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In the magazine Police Patrol: Community for Cops, cop's investigative rights are analyzed with advice to police officers during a police traffic stop.

Below is the normal and routine actions police may take in a moving violation:

  1. Ordering Out. It remains the law that officers may order all occupants out of the vehicle at any lawful traffic stop, for officers safety.
  2. Demanding and examining documents. Normal traffic enforcement activities may properly include “checking the driver’s license and inspecting the automobile’s registration and proof of insurance.”
  3. Running warrant checks. “Normal inquiries incident to the traffic stop include determining whether there are outstanding warrants against the driver.” The time it takes to get results on your warrant check provides a good opportunity to question the occupants, or to make plain-view observations through the car windows, all of which may establish grounds for further detention or arrest and search.
  4. While waiting for the warrant check to come back and the document inspection is taking place, the officer may investigate unrelated criminal activity, as long as doing so doesn’t prolong the stop.
  5. Officers may request consent to search during a traffic stop, even though there may be no suspicion of criminal activity. You may refuse consent and the traffic offense should be terminated without further delay.
  6. Officers may detain and search a person known to be subject to a condition related tasks are of probation or release on parole if they should discover same during their warrant check.
  7. There are two limits on the duration of a traffic stop. First, the stop has to end when the safety-related tasks are done. Second, the stop has to end when the safety-related tasks should have been done.

The text above outlines what the cop should do during a police traffic stop.

Click on the video again to see what David recommends you do.

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