I have searched the 'net and this forum extensively for the status of passengers during a "routine" traffic stop and have not yet found a definitive answer.
Does a peace officer have the right to ask passengers for identification during a "routine"
( i.e., a stop in which there are no additional facts which give rise to any sort of a reasonable suspicion of criminal activity on the part of passengers) traffic stop?
Let me pose this question another way: is an individual, merely by the virtue of being a passenger of a vehicle which is being stopped for a "routine" traffic violation, "lawfully detained" for the purposes of PC 38.02?
I can see an argument being made that the passengers are witnesses to a crime, e.g., that which the driver was stopped for, and therefore subject to the strictures of PC 38.02(b)(3). But that only requires that the passengers not give false ID information, that is, they are not required to give any information at all.
I know it is well-settled law that a peace officer can order driver, passengers, or both, out of a vehicle as a matter of course during a traffic stop, but this does not address the issue of whether the passengers are considered “detained” for the duration of the entire stop.
I realize I have probably not framed this question in the most eloquent terms, but any guidance is appreciated.
I seem to recall a thread on this case, but I couldn't find it. St. George v. State, 197 S.W.3d 806 (Tex. App.--Fort Worth 2006) generated a lot of controversy in its first release for how it dealt with search of passengers in cars. You might look for threads on this case.
Oh, never mind, I found it. It's entitled "Fort Worth is Dead Wrong." Sorry I'm not sophisticated enough to provide a link.
ran a search of "passenger" and got this:
Thanks for speedy replies, but I have already read those threads.
When I click on link to George opinion, I get this:
No HTML version of the opinion document is available.
Could a member of this forum post actual text of opinion or email it to me at firstname.lastname@example.org?
Thanks again for quick response.
New passenger case out today, Court upholds frisk of passenger after conversation between passenger and officer:
An officer�s inquiries into matters unrelated to the justification for the traffic stop, this Court has made plain, do not convert the encounter into something other than a lawful seizure, so long as those inquiries do not measurably extend the duration of the stop.
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