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Traffic Stop and Vehicle Search

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  • S.O.444
    replied
    If I am wanting to search a vehicle and don't really have anything else to go off of other than a hunch, I complete my stop and return the DL/insurance papers to the driver and tell them that they are free to go. I then ask them if they have anything illegal in their vehicle (guns, drugs, swords, hand grenades, atom bombs, etc) and ask if I can search. If they say no and I have no reason to detain them further, they can drive off. If they say that I can search, cool beans.

    If I know that I may need a K9, I call for one as I'm returning to my car after the initial contact. Usually, by the time that I am done verifying their identity and finish writing my citation, the dog is on scene, I brief them on what I have, and I let the handler take over for a minute.

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  • LPD003
    replied
    Good point... Just simply stating that you can wait for one if you'd like.

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  • Smurfette_76
    replied
    If they're lunging forward, I'm not waiting on k-9 to get there when I can articulate pulling them out on a car frisk.

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  • LPD003
    replied
    Okay, lot of things here to cover.

    No dog... Pull someone over, think they look shady, no furtive movements or anything, just think they have drugs. GIVE THEM ALL THEIR INFORMATION BACK BEFORE ASKING CONSENT, otherwise it's not consentual... They say no. You have to let them go.

    You cannot use "they denied consent" for even a simple, small indicator for detaining them for a dog. (I'm a K-9 handler) Don't write it in your report even if you have other indicators, they'll rip you apart for that... They'll say, "Officer, if you had so much probable cause or reasonable suspicion, why did you ask my client for consent instead of just searching it. And if you asked consent, isn't that supposed to be consentual and you can't have them detained at that point... In other words, when you asked for consent, was my client free to leave?" (You're toast.)

    I go as far on almost every traffic stop to get them out of the vehicle, handing them their information, explaining the written warning or what have you and asking them if they have questions. (This way I can watch their body movement and reactions to stupid questions I'm going to ask later) If they say they don't have questions, I say, "You're free to leave." Once they start walking back to their vehicle, I say, "If you don't mind, I'd like to ask you a few questions... Would that be alright?" Never been denied. At this point, they've already been told they are free to leave and the rest of the conversation is no doubt consensual. Just create that white line that the defense attorney can't say "my client didn't know he could leave." Then you can say, "Your client's an idiot, I told him he could 3 seconds before he walked back up to me." (I wouldn't say that, but you get the point.)

    Following this, there's a series of questions I ask that will help me determine even if I'm going to ask consent.

    BTW, I usually just run my dog anyway, so most of this doesn't apply to me.

    Oh, and you CAN detain someone for however long the dog takes to get there, (Within reason) if you can articulate that they're hiding something while pulling over or showed furtive movements by their upper torso lunging forward.... ect.

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  • SgtScott31
    replied
    Maybe where you are but in Ga it's not against the law to have a gun in your car so there's no reason to search the car under terry when it's legal for a gun to be there.

    Furtive movement in the car I can search but if I terry them outside the car it's not an automatic in for the car to.
    It does depend on the circumstances, but furitive movements at anytime during the stop if subject is in vehicle is enough in most states to conduct a Terry frisk on person & vehicle. Gant is a completely different issue, only referring to search incident to arrest, which one can still search if the arrested subject still has access to the vehicle. In AZ v. Johnson (decided this year), the US Supreme Court upheld a terry frisk for weapons when appearance and statements about being a gangbanger were the only things that caused the officer to frisk Johnson (i.e. no criminal activity suspected which is usually the required Terry standard). This only applied to Johnson himself, but my point is Terry frisk for weapons applies to vehicles anytime someone has access to it and RS is established.

    As far as the gun issue, in TN I can disarm a permit holder during a stop if I feel the need to, but that's outlined in our state law. I know it's not in GA, and that's unfortunate. Considering that about 300 permit holders had their permits revoked in TN in 2008 for felony convictions, just because the driver/violator has a gun permit, doesn't mean I'm going to feel warm & fuzzy inside.

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  • Narco
    replied
    i always thought if the cops asked you had to say yes

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  • kcso
    replied
    Originally posted by crass cop View Post
    HA! and probably drunk too!
    I'd have to be.

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  • leesrt
    replied
    Originally posted by mdrdep View Post
    If they are out of the car does not make the difference. The difference is if they may be returning to the car. A frisk for officer safety presumes they will return to the car and therefore may have access to a weapon. If they are arrested then obviously they will not be returning to the car and viola "Gant vs. Arizona" comes to play.......
    Maybe where you are but in Ga it's not against the law to have a gun in your car so there's no reason to search the car under terry when it's legal for a gun to be there.

    Furtive movement in the car I can search but if I terry them outside the car it's not an automatic in for the car to.

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  • crass cop
    replied
    HA! and probably drunk too!

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  • kcso
    replied
    Originally posted by crass cop View Post
    i think smurfette and kcso are married
    That's hilarious. If we were married, do you really think, after all that, that I'd be able to sit here and type stuff on the computer with two black and swollen eyes?

    Leave a comment:


  • crass cop
    replied
    i think smurfette and kcso are married

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  • mdrdep
    replied
    Originally posted by leesrt View Post
    Your right but I'm assuming they are out of the car already. It all depends on when and where you see it.
    If they are out of the car does not make the difference. The difference is if they may be returning to the car. A frisk for officer safety presumes they will return to the car and therefore may have access to a weapon. If they are arrested then obviously they will not be returning to the car and viola "Gant vs. Arizona" comes to play.......

    Leave a comment:


  • Grummin
    replied
    Originally posted by careerchange#2 View Post
    KCSO,

    According to the most recent SCOTUS ruling she is correct...once you remove the suspect from the vehicle, absent other circumstances such as searching for fruits of the crime, you cannot do a search of the vehicle incident to arrest. The court has ruled that once the folks are out of the vehicle, absent those above circumstances there is no "officer safety" issue to warrant the searching of the vehicle.

    Warrant lock up? Suspended driver lockup? No SIA. Inventory yes. You snatch somebody with the odor of weed in the car? Got plain view fruits of the crime? Game on. Hook a DUI/DWI? Possibly game on.
    Thats why it should be policy to tow and inventory every vehicle when an arrest is made. Not my fault they carry their bag of weed in the center console. Even if the vehicle is released to another party the vehicle should be inventoried. Not trying to invade their privacy jsut trying to keep my department from getting the blame of stolen goods.

    Leave a comment:


  • leesrt
    replied
    Originally posted by Smurfette_76 View Post
    Career change, I think these two are actually talking about two separate issues.

    Leesrt, I believe the Sarge is referring to the frisk of a vehicle for weapons, not having anything to do with SIA. It's articulable through issues like furtive movement....it falls under Michigan V/S Long. The Gant ruling is a different issue.
    Your right but I'm assuming they are out of the car already. It all depends on when and where you see it.

    Leave a comment:


  • kcso
    replied
    Originally posted by careerchange#2 View Post
    KCSO,

    According to the most recent SCOTUS ruling she is correct...once you remove the suspect from the vehicle, absent other circumstances such as searching for fruits of the crime, you cannot do a search of the vehicle incident to arrest. The court has ruled that once the folks are out of the vehicle, absent those above circumstances there is no "officer safety" issue to warrant the searching of the vehicle.

    Warrant lock up? Suspended driver lockup? No SIA. Inventory yes. You snatch somebody with the odor of weed in the car? Got plain view fruits of the crime? Game on. Hook a DUI/DWI? Possibly game on.
    I never disagreed. I was only being sarcastic in my response to him on how he worded it.
    Last edited by kcso; 10-07-2009, 12:57 AM.

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