License Plate Recognition software and traffic stops

On Behalf of | Apr 12, 2019 | Asset Forfeiture

If the police initiate a traffic stop and find you with a large amount of cash and/or drugs in the vehicle, they can seize the cash since they believe it came from a drug sale. In short, police have access to money allegedly obtained through illegal means. In some cases, they can also seize other assets, such as cars or firearms.

Now, this can be problematic since they have not actually proven where you got the money at that time. Mistakes are made. It can take a long time to fight to have your legal assets returned to you.

Much of the time, that initial traffic stop does not happen because the police think you have drugs or cash in the car. They need some other reason to stop you. One common one is looking for a problem with your license plate and vehicle registration.

In fact, police often use License Plate Recognition software to do this job for them. This technology has often been used for security systems — having an automatic gate open for cars with a specific license plate, for instance — but police are now using it to scan cars on the highway.

In fact, police in nearby Georgia recent made a number of drug busts stemming from traffic stops that LPR software flagged for them. They said that traffic stops actually led to the majority of the arrests.

“If a vehicle drives by, that LPR system will read that tag and registration and it will automatically alert the officer if something was wrong with the tag,” one officer said, showing just how simple it was to make those stops.

As technology progresses, it’s growing easier for police to stop cars, make arrests and seize assets. You must know all of your rights if this happens to you.