Are these charges fightable under the circumstances? (No proof of insurance, expired registration, broken tail light)

Went to the bank to do bank stuff. Got out of my car and a cop was in the parking lot, telling me to get back in my car. He asked for the usual. I can’t update my registration in Louisiana because it requires both signatures on the title. Long story, but other guy disappeared. Insurance card was outdated, but insurance is current (phone call proved it). Tail light WAS broken. He tells me I looked nervous and wants to search car. I tell him not without a warrant. He brings dogs, they don’t do anything unusual, but they spent 2 1/2 hours searching my car, feeding me BS reasons why.

Asked on June 2, 2009 under Accident Law, Louisiana


MD, Member, California Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 11 years ago | Contributor

Your nervousness, plus no insurance/bad title, gave him probable cause to search your car.

There are ways to get proper title if the other left and abandoned.  Contact your Dept of Motor Vehicles, title division.  Further, talk to the traffic court about the issues, plead mercy and see what happens.  Make sure you have your ducks in a row.  If you don't have insurance/bad title, you shouldn't be driving the vehicle anyway.

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