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Question about PC for Texas LEOs

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  • Question about PC for Texas LEOs

    While doing a ride-along a while back, the officer I was with was talking about PC and different ways to stop vehicles. Keep in mind that I'm in the application process with his dept. right now. Anyway, he told me about this provision in the law that was basically designed to allow you to stop a vehicle that wasn't necessarily breaking the law, but that needed to be stopped as a courtesy. An example would be if someone had left their laptop computer on the roof or something. Can some of you LEOs tell me what that provision is called (I don't remember), and how else it can be used? A LEO friend of mine was giving me various scenarios over the phone tonight and I couldn't rememeber the name of this provision to save my life. Alright...thanks!

  • #2
    I have looked in the Code of Criminal Procedure and the Penal code and have not found what you are describing. From the examples you have provided, I would activate emergency lights in order to preserve property (the laptop) or enhance order. Good luck with your answer.

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    • #3
      Originally posted by pawncop
      I have looked in the Code of Criminal Procedure and the Penal code and have not found what you are describing. From the examples you have provided, I would activate emergency lights in order to preserve property (the laptop) or enhance order. Good luck with your answer.
      I agree with the "preserve property/enhance order". I've looked around and couldn't find anything specific. I would say that given the scenario your stop would end when the laptop comes off of the roof. Unless they fall out of the car intoxicated-maybe you could articulate the laptop on the roof as an unsecured load, but that would be really stretching it. You'd have to have a forgiving ADA and an idiot stick defense atty.
      The nine most terrifying words in the English language are, "I'm from the government and I'm here to help."
      Ronald Reagan

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      • #4
        I have done the same before for wallets,or a purse being on the roof.Always a woman driver.made the stop,gave the driver back the purse/wallet,never got a thank you,turned around and got back in the unit.
        FILL YOUR HANDS!!!

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        • #5
          OK, so then the question is asked... What if you make said "courtesy stop" and then notice something illegal? Will it be considered a "good stop"?

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          • #6
            If your initial reason to stop her was because of the laptop on top of the car and the contraband was in plain sight then you should be covered. If you use the laptop for a pretext stop for contraband then you might have a fight in court but it is all how you put it on paper.
            "Respect for religion must be reestablished. Public debt should be reduced. The arrogance of public officials must be curtailed. Assistance to foreign lands must be stopped or we shall bankrupt ourselves. The people should be forced to work and not depend on government for subsistence." - Cicero, 60 B.C.

            For California police academy notes go to http://groups.yahoo.com/group/CABasicPolice/

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            • #7
              Originally posted by AggiePhil
              Can some of you LEOs tell me what that provision is called (I don't remember), and how else it can be used?
              I don't think you will find it articulated in a specific section of state law. Instead, you will need to look at case law (court decisions) interpreting the right of an officer to stop someone versus their right to be free of government intrusion.

              I've made stops like that over the years (passenger door ajar, something left on top of a car, etc.) For the life of me I can't remember the specific case decision that allowed me to do so, but if I deliberately failed to make the stop and someone got hurt or property was damaged as a result, you can bet my *** would be in a sling.

              The reality here is if you make such a stop and find contraband, the district attorney will find case law that allowed you to do so.
              Going too far is half the pleasure of not getting anywhere

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              • #8
                "Community Caretaking" function would cover this type of situation. This would include situations like you described or something like driving with a door ajar or someone experiencing a medical problem. Things that you would help a motorist with due to an expectation of an officer to take care of his or her community. If something is observed in plain view or there is further evidence of a crime when you reach the car then things can change but it does allow you to stop and provide assistance.

                Not a car stop but I did find this to give you an idea of what I am talking about.

                http://caselaw.lp.findlaw.com/data2/...th/053254p.pdf

                ok found a stop but it was parked, but I think you can get the idea from these.

                http://www.judicial.state.ia.us/cour...12/05-0629.asp
                Last edited by Rizko; 05-20-2006, 09:54 PM.

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by Rizko
                  "Community Caretaking" function would cover this type of situation. This would include situations like you described or something like driving with a door ajar or someone experiencing a medical problem. Things that you would help a motorist with due to an expectation of an officer to take care of his or her community. If something is observed in plain view or there is further evidence of a crime when you reach the car then things can change but it does allow you to stop and provide assistance.

                  Not a car stop but I did find this to give you an idea of what I am talking about.

                  http://caselaw.lp.findlaw.com/data2/...th/053254p.pdf

                  ok found a stop but it was parked, but I think you can get the idea from these.

                  http://www.judicial.state.ia.us/cour...12/05-0629.asp
                  Yes! Props to Rizko for coming up with that. And my apologies Rizko if it was in fact you who told me about the community caretaking function in the first place. I was thinking it was an officer I'd ridden with, but now I'm starting to think it might have been you. Regardless, thanks for filling in the blanks for me...not being able to remember that phrase was bugging me.

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                  • #10
                    Texas Trans. Code makes it almost impossible not to find something to stop a car for, read it, you maight lern something.... just joking
                    Why do we try so Hard for Little things, and so Little for Hard things?

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