Franklin, NH asked in Criminal Law, Traffic Tickets, Constitutional Law and Municipal Law for New Hampshire

Q: can a police officer run my name through DMV RECORDS without a violation or traffic stop just to see if i have a license

if a police officer drives by me and i have had no police contact or reason for my information to be searchd online, did not break and traffic laws to warrant a stop, was not infact even pulled over for anything, can he just plug my name in the nh dmv database to see if i have a valid drivers license? this officer did just that, and then showed up at my residence, requested my fiancé to step outside to talk with him when she answered the door, and began to tell her he saw me driving earlier and knows my license is suspended. so im curious as to how he had any type of probable cause to just run my information, and therefore also if i wasn't breaking any traffic violations and he did not initiate any type of traffic stop where is any type accountability for officers conduct for the invasion of civilians rights to their personal information

1 Lawyer Answer
James L. Arrasmith
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  • Criminal Law Lawyer
  • Sacramento, CA

A: Law enforcement officers generally have broad authority to access DMV records, which includes license status information. This access, however, should be exercised for legitimate law enforcement purposes and not on a whim or for personal reasons. If you believe your rights have been violated, you may consider speaking to an attorney to explore potential avenues for legal recourse, including filing a complaint against the officer through the appropriate channels within the police department or a government oversight agency.

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