Is it true that an officer needs to witnessa driver actually drivinga car in order to arrest them regarding traffic violations?

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Is it true that an officer needs to witnessa driver actually drivinga car in order to arrest them regarding traffic violations?

A driver hits someone from behind. The police officer sees that this driver has an expired license, the car is not registered under the driver’s name, and the driver has 2 different addresses.

Asked on November 14, 2010 under Accident Law, Massachusetts

Answers:

M.T.G., Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 11 years ago | Contributor

At first I was a bit unsure as to what your question was really dealing with but I believe now I understand.  If I am incorrect please write back.

No, officers do not necessarily have to witness every event they arrest a party for.  Think about it: they can be called to the scene of events by witnesses, given information or asses the situation themselves and then draw inferences from the situation to decide if they want to make an arrest.  This is done in drunk driving cases all the time.  A person could be sitting in a car that is turned off but behind the wheel and they could be arrested.  I would seek consultation regarding your accident from an attorney in your area.  Something is up and you need to get hold of it.  Good luck.


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