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Anonymous Neighbor Says You're A Lousy Driver: Police Can Search Your Car?

Tell us what you think.

By Todd Richissin

When the U.S. Supreme Court handed down its decision Tuesday on affirmative action policies at Michigan colleges and universities, largely lost in the reporting that day was another decision that could directly impact far more people.

That is, the high court ruled that if police receive an anonymous 911 tip about erratic driving, they can pull over the called-about vehicle and question and even search the driver.

The court has long held that officers can make stops based on anonymous tips, but only if the information in those tips provide enough detail to give rise to a reasonable suspicion of criminal activity.

Which raises the question:
  • Is it right that police can pull over a car based on an anonymous tip? Tell us what you think in comments below.
Julie April 29, 2014 at 08:05 AM
If the car pulled over is only guilty of speeding or just dazing for a moment then they don't have anything to worry about. I wouldn't call 911 on someone who swerved a bit as I've done that myself. However, if I saw someone crossing the middle line or being overly aggressive I would call to be safe. I'd hope everyone would do it as well. I have 4 kids in my car, that's what matters.
Ego_Death April 29, 2014 at 10:00 AM
this is similar to the silent indicator cops say their dogs use... Where is the proof? How do I know that the dog made a silent positive signal? or how do I know someone really called 911 on me? All it does is give police more power and authority to come after innocent members of society without due cause.
the truth is a dope April 29, 2014 at 03:46 PM
BREAKING NEWS>>>>>"the truth" successfully made it to McDonalds today without being hassled by the man
Francis Louis Currier May 01, 2014 at 12:07 AM
All of you who are for the erosion of our rights are nothing less than traitors.
More garbage from Patch. May 04, 2014 at 06:04 AM
About 20 years ago, I was driving on a one lane street with some one in front and behind me. The street became two lanes and I hit some traffic that caused me to come to a stop and the right lane had clearer roadway ahead. An older gentleman stopped beside me holding up traffic behind him yelling something like I saw you back there shaking a fist. I thought, what a crazy old man, hes gonna cause an accident. A police car was coming the other way and the old man pulled up, stopped next to him and said something while pointing at me. The police car then waived me over to pull in the lot to the left of me. He came up to my door and asked me if I littered. I said no, why did that guy think he saw me throw something out of my car? The officer then said, "ok, you are going to deny it, then Im going to site you and wrote me a ticket for $89. Of course I pleaded not guilty and went to court. Well the old man showed up as a whitness with an oxygen bottle and all playing up the old concerned citizen tryin to teach the young punk a lesson. I told the judge I didnt litter and dont know what this man saw. To this day the only thing I can think of is something cought some wind from inside the car and flew out my open sunroof without me noticing. I had dark tinted windows so the man couldnt have seen if my arm throw it or if it just blew out. The judge listened to both of us and proceeded to increase the ticket to the max fine of $300 and give me a lecture of how I won't litter in "his" town again! I didnt know when judge Borek bought Lansdale or where such a sale would take place or towns be advertised for sale. In this case, because of this ruling, the police would have a hard time proving reasonable suspicion to warrant a search of my car but, if this guy said he saw me smoking a reefer cigarette, well then, he could go ahead and search based on the man's statement? No but, if I had marajuanna in plain side when the cop came to my door, well that is a good reason to request a search. Yeah, not liking this one so much. Again, this story gives a false impression that you can be searched because of an anonymous tip. The tip can cause a legal traffic stop. The search can only be conducted if during the traffic stop the officer whiteness something in addition to the anonymous tip like illegal drugs in the ash tray. Still a good topic for discussion but its hard not to think that the writer doesnt feel confident enough in their own writing skills to present the facts in a clear and honest way but to embellish or deceive the reader into thinking an injustice is being done and we better write about it!

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