Delaware Attorney Ben Schwartz gives some insight into why cops put their hands on the car once they have pulled someone over. It is believed they do this to leave fingerprints in case the driver of the vehicle does something wrong or to harm the officer.
Hi, I’m Attorney Ben Schwartz,
Today we are going to take a viewer question from Sylvia in Wilmington, Delaware. She wrote in and said, “why do police officers put their hands on your car when they pull you over?”
I think this is a very insightful question, Sylvia. Here is my understanding of what’s going on. The police officer, I actually recently saw this happen myself. I was driving down the road and I saw a Delaware State Police trooper pull someone over on the side of the road, what he did was, he walked up to the passenger side of the car. He put his hand on the back of the car, put his hand on the back of the trunk, put his hand on actually the back window, put his hand on the top. As I was driving by, I saw it happen, and that was not too long ago. So, I know Delaware State Police is still doing this.
What I believe they are doing is, they are leaving fingerprints so if the driver of that vehicle does something to them and speeds off and the car is then found, it will have the police officers fingerprints on it so that they can tie the driver of the car back to whatever bad event happened when the police officer pulled them over.
Essentially, it is an officer safety thing. It is leaving the evidence in case the person harms the officer and flees the scene. Basically, it is giving police officers in the future the ability to lift prints off that vehicle and trace them back to that officer that pulled the vehicle over.
It is an interesting thing; I have personally seen it happen. I know other people have mentioned it to me and it is a really good and insightful question. If you are watching this video and you have a question for me about criminal law, personal injury law, trial practice, etc. please send me an email below.
Thanks for watching!