Utah Police Authority to Stop and Detain Motorists

Utah Police May Stop and Request Identification

Utah police have expansive authority to briefly detain subjects for investigative purposes on information amounting to reasonable suspicion.  It is proper for Utah law enforcement officers to demand identification from a person because  the U.S. Supreme Court said that requesting identification of a person has a immediate relation to purpose, rational, and practical demands of a reasonable suspicion stop.  Utah law has authorized police to stop and demand identification of an individual they believe to have committed or will commit a felony, misdemeanor, or infraction.  Even though there is no fixed penalty for not complying with an officer’s demand, a person may be charged with a different crime such as obstructing justice for not heeding the officer’s request.

Utah Police May Stop and Detain Motorists

Utah police can stop vehicles and briefly detain the driver where the officer has a reasonable suspicion that he is violating the law, including traffic infractions.  The stop also gives authority to police to order the driver and passengers out of the car or have a drug sniffing dog to sniff the exterior of the car, as long as getting the dog to the scene doesn’t prolong the justifiable stop.

Utah police may frisk a driver or occupant of a vehicle and conduct a limited search of the interior of a car immediately within the subject’s control if there is a reasonable suspicion that the driver or occupant is armed and dangerous.  A search by Utah police is permissible even where the suspect is being held by police outside a car, because the suspect may break away from police or gain access to the weapons in the car after he is released.  A scope of a vehicle stop extends until the police officer no longer needs to control the scene and informs the driver that he is free to leave.

Criminal Defense Lawyers Protect You From Unlawful Searches

Call a criminal defense attorney from Salcido Law Firm if you have been charged with a felony or misdemeanor arising from a stop and search by a police officer.  A lawyer from Salcido Law Firm will protect your rights and determine if the police lawfully stopped and searched you.  Call a criminal defense attorney today at 801.618.1334.

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