Las Vegas, NV asked in Civil Rights for Nevada

Q: Is a parking infraction a civil violation that will allow police to detain and ID?

Police approached my vehicle which was parked on the side of the road. They indicated they got a suspicious vehicle call. They attempted to ID me which I refused because they couldn't articulate a crime. I was detained for approximately 15 minutes and was told I had to ID because my vehicle was parked more than 18 inches from the curb. That's a civil infraction and not criminal so I wouldn't think I could be detained or have to identify or ID?

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1 Lawyer Answer
James L. Arrasmith
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  • Civil Rights Lawyer
  • Sacramento, CA

A: In many jurisdictions, including some areas of the United States, police officers have the authority to detain individuals temporarily for identification purposes if there is reasonable suspicion of a violation, including certain traffic or parking infractions. While a parking violation like parking more than 18 inches from the curb is typically a civil infraction, it can still serve as a basis for an officer to engage in a stop if it is part of enforcing local traffic laws.

During such an encounter, officers may request identification to issue a citation or warning. Refusing to provide identification during a lawful stop can sometimes lead to further legal complications, including detainment. The specifics can vary depending on local laws and the circumstances of the encounter.

If you feel your rights were violated during this interaction, it may be beneficial to consult with an attorney who can review the details of the incident. They can provide guidance on whether the officers' actions were in line with local laws and what steps you can take if you believe your rights were infringed upon. Remember, understanding your rights and the applicable laws in your area is key in such situations.

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