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License to Ill: License Plate Readers

Joyce Russell with the Northwest Indiana Times recently reported that the Hammond Police Department added license plate readers on police vehicles to be used as another tool to assist officers with policing their community.   http://www.nwitimes.com/news/local/crime-and-courts/hammond-police-nab-man-after-introducing-new-technology/article_88637ae5-1b4f-5aa9-8860-69f4b361b63a.html (last visited April 15, 2017).  It was reported that an officer was able to stop an individual whom they suspected was driving on a suspended license.  During the stop, police discovered suspected marijuana and a loaded firearm. 

While this is a relatively new tool for law enforcement, there are certainly important and layered questions to this technology.  The technology is triggered to read the license plate, which is connected to the vehicle, and presumably the registered owner.  It is axiomatic that the registered owner is not necessarily the individual who is driving a particular vehicle.  That is, the fact that police may learn information through a license plate reader does not necessarily mean that they have the constitutional right to stop or search that vehicle.   

Looking for a Northwest Indiana civil rights attorney that understands your criminal and appellate rights? Contact the attorneys at Keffer Barnhart LLP today if you have questions or believe your constitutional or criminal rights have been violated.  We stand ready to provide our clients with trusted representation and accurate information regarding the law and its application to their individualized case.  Act now and contact us today at 1-800-NOT-GUILTY or (317) 857-0160.