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Traffic Stop and Vehicle Search

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  • Traffic Stop and Vehicle Search

    I have several questions on traffic stops and vehicle searches. I teach a required class on both the federal and state constitution to high school students.

    What do you recommend is the best civic advice to give to students who are not comfortable waiving their rights to consent to a search, yet don't want that to be automatically viewed by LEO as a green light that that they are hiding something illegal? Is it honestly possible for someone to simply exercise their rights without drawing some suspicion in that manner

    I support the police, but I also understand that anyone has a legitimate right to deny consent to search a vehicle if asked. I've always told the students that it is their right to refuse consent to search, but in my opinion that could possibly be code for "go ahead and cite me for whatever moving violations you can find." I've actually had several LEOs in past conversations indicate that's how they deal with people who make their job that much harder to do in this type of situation. However, I question whether or not that response paints the police in the most ethical light. What do you suggest?

  • #2
    is that avatar you?
    "I don't go on "I'maworthlesscumdumpster.com" and post negative **** about cum dumpsters."
    The Tick

    "Are you referring to the secret headquarters of a fictional crime fighter or penal complex slang for a-$$hole, anus or rectum?"
    sanitizer

    "and we all know you are a poser and a p*ssy.... "
    Bearcat357 to Dinner Portion/buck8/long relief

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    • #3
      Originally posted by crass cop View Post
      is that avatar you?
      ROTFL..I usually use pics of my ex-girlfriends for avatars (okay it's really some Canadian model that was doing stints for Victoria's Secret, but I'd like to buy her dinner sometime).

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      • #4
        Never consent to a search. That's all there is to it.

        I'm a cop and I would never consent to search.

        By the way, I do searches all the time.
        Due to the Juvenile bickering and annoying trolling committed by members of this forum I have started an igore list. If your name is listed below I can't see you.

        CityCopDC, Fire Moose, Carbonfiberfoot, Damiansolomon

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        • #5
          Just say no.
          Facts do not cease to exist because they are ignored. -- Aldous Huxley
          Two things are infinite: the universe and human stupidity. -- Albert Einstein

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          • #6
            There is some case law and from my understanding the traffic stop has to be over before requesting consent. Meaning whatever tickets should have already been issued.

            There is obviously a "free to leave" part that plays into this if the officer still has your driving license and registration.


            It's simple...dont want to give consent...say no. If you want to give consent (nothing to hide and want to vindicate yourself) then agree. Even highschoolers can understand that.

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            • #7
              They can say no. Doesn't mean I can't or won't go in the car. Oftentimes we like to ask just to watch the response, not that we need the affirmative to search.
              sigpic

              I don't agree with your opinion, but I respect its straightforwardness in terms of wrongness.

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              • #8
                It has been a while since I have worked the street, but I didn't normally go on fishing expeditions. If I had probable cause to search, I searched. If I didn't you were on the way. High school students aren't real smart when they are carrying or using drugs or alcohol and it doesn't take a real Clarence Darrow to come up with probable cause to search.

                I am with the others, just say "No," and see where it gets them. Something better to teach them is when stopped, is to keep their mouth shut. The side of the road is not where to litigate a traffic violation nor to let their views of the current affairs of law enforcement be known. Being mouthy gets you more attention than you really want.
                Ut humiliter opinor

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                • #9
                  This is an easy question to answer.

                  If they don't break the law they don't anything to worry about. Also don't associate with criminals.

                  I never had to worry about giving or denying consent to search because I don't break the law.

                  BTW When I ask for consent, 95% or more of the time, I all ready have enough PC or ARS to search.
                  Last edited by westside popo; 10-06-2009, 01:21 AM.

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                  • #10
                    Civil rights are of utmost importance. If they say "no," have a nice day, see you later. I make sure I have the PC and would usually take that route rather than a consent. If you have the PC, you don't need the consent. NEVER tread on a violator's civil rights, it'll get you in hot water quickly!
                    Most people fail because they trade what they want MOST, for what they want at the MOMENT.

                    The heart is deceitful above all things and desperately wicked, WHO can know it?
                    -Jeremiah 17:9

                    Is it any surprise that cops don't trust anyone?

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                    • #11
                      Providing you're not just asking to see what they say, if they say "no," they get cut loose and that's that.

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                      • #12
                        Just say no, but I rarely ask for any reason other than to ask. If I have PC, sometimes I'll take them out and tell them, sometimes I'll ask if they mind... and if they say no I do it anyway since I have PC. If I feel iffy, we're lucky to have a dog in the city so I call him.

                        But yes, the smart ones say no... aka hardly anyone says no no matter what they're holding.

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                        • #13
                          If I feel there are drugs in the vehicle, and they won't give consent, I'll call a dog. Sorry, but it is suspicious to me. Their attempt to hide whatever it is that was found, by refusing, won't look too good for them in court either. On the other hand, if they don't have anything to hide, who cares?

                          As for your comment about us citing for any violation we can find, that's BS. I for one won't take it personal if they refuse consent. I have other things in life to worry about and I couldn't give a rats as5.
                          sigpic

                          " 'Blessed are the Peacemakers', is, I suppose, to be understood in the other world, for in this one they are frequently cursed." - Benjamin Franklin

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                          • #14
                            Originally posted by Name Taken
                            There is some case law and from my understanding the traffic stop has to be over before requesting consent. Meaning whatever tickets should have already been issued.

                            There is obviously a "free to leave" part that plays into this if the officer still has your driving license and registration.


                            It's simple...dont want to give consent...say no. If you want to give consent (nothing to hide and want to vindicate yourself) then agree. Even highschoolers can understand that.
                            No, I think that's backwards. You ask for consent before the stop is finished, i.e. before giving back license, insurance, etc... because if you ask afterwards, then the argument can be made that you're unnecessarily prolonging the stop beyond its original scope... it's not a consensual encounter.

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                            • #15
                              I would say Name Taken is correct. Once you give them the cite, they are free to leave. You have concluded your business. You were holding them for the citation. A search request post citation is not prolonging the encounter and is by definition a consensual encounter because they are free to say "no thanks" and leave.

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