Can police cut you off to force you to pull over?

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Can police cut you off to force you to pull over?

I was not evading nor were the lights on the police unit on when I was cut off. When both vehicles came to a stop but before I was able to put my vehicle into gear, the 2 officers had my passenger yanked out of my vehicle. Is this legal? I am not on probation nor was I; I have had no contact with police for 10 years. My passenger was not on probation or parole, having been released 3 days prior been released from county jail. The officers claimed to have pulled me over for failure to stop at a stop sign. The sign they were claiming I failed to stop at, I had made 3 right hand turns after. Is any of this legal?

Asked on July 7, 2015 under General Practice, California

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 6 years ago | Contributor

Yes, if you do not stop for police officers when they signal you to stop, they can cut off you off to force you to stop. And if there is any reason to believe that you or your passenger may resist arrest, be armed, etc., they can pull one or both of you out and restrain you. If you were ignoring their signals to stop, they could take that as evidence you or your passenger would resist. You say that they did not have lights on and so did not signal: that is a factual question.  However, if both officers are prepared to testify that they did have their lights on, it would be very difficult to convince a court otherwise; and if the court believes them, their actions would likely be found proper.


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