Can a traffic stop be done on private property

I went to Walmart to get food for Thanksgiving.
Once I parked in a parking spot. An officer
pulls up to me with his lights on after I’ve
already parked. The officer said that the
reason he’s pulling me over it’s because on the
way to Walmart I passed him and he seen I
didn’t have a seatbelt on. Can he perform the
traffic stop for a seatbelt violation on
Walmart’s private property or does he have to
wait until I get back in the car and leave the
private property?

Asked on November 23, 2018 under General Practice, Florida

Answers:

M.D., Member, California and New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 2 years ago | Contributor

If a traffic violation occurs on a public street, then it is perfectly legal to cite a person for that violation even if they later move onto private property. The fact is that this happens frequently as officers try to wait to pull drivers over at safe locations, and many times this is on private property like a parking lots.

S.L,. Member, California Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 2 years ago | Contributor

The seatbelt violation occurred on the road to the store. The fact that you were issued the traffic ticket after stopping and parking in a store parking lot is irrelevant. When a traffic stop by police occurs, a driver pulls off the road to a convenient area including a parking lot even though you were not stopped until you were in the parking lot.


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