Jackson, MI asked in Traffic Tickets for Michigan

Q: Is lawful for an unmarked police car to initiate a traffic stop?

I've read that in Michigan it is required that police vehicles have identifying markings in order to do routine traffic stops and that it is unlawful for an unmarked police vehicle to initiate a traffic stop. Is there any written law to indicate this? Must they call in a marked unit to initiate a traffic stop? If this is written into law, what is the code?

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1 Lawyer Answer
Brent T. Geers
Brent T. Geers
  • Criminal Law Lawyer
  • Grand Rapids, MI
  • Licensed in Michigan

A: What do you mean by "marked" cars? Some police agencies conduct traffic enforcement with cars equipped with lights / sirens, but no other markings. Those are not "unmarked" cars.

You have a potential defense to a fleeing and eluding charge if the car was truly unmarked to the point where no reasonable person would have known it's the police. But if it had lights and sirens, it's probably lawful for them to pull you over.

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