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  • Can't search a car?

    Hi Everyone,
    Have you ever been on a traffic stop and you thought something illegal might be in their car? Has anyone said "No" when you asked to search their car? If so, have you ever not been able to search their car because of that? Just wondering because it seems kind of pointless to say "no" because I'd think they'd come up with a reason why they can search it. Any experience?

  • #2
    Originally posted by VP1
    Have you ever been on a traffic stop and you thought something illegal might be in their car? Has anyone said "No" when you asked to search their car? If so, have you ever not been able to search their car because of that? Just wondering because it seems kind of pointless to say "no" because I'd think they'd come up with a reason why they can search it. Any experience?
    Yeah.


    Yeah.


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    Yeah.


    Yeah.


    Please pick the four answers you like and just throw out the answers you don't like.

    Last edited by t150vsuptpr; 04-13-2007, 10:39 PM.
    "That's right man, we've got mills here that'll blow that heap of your's right off the road."

    "Beautiful Daughter of the Stars."(it's my home now)

    >>>>> A Time for Choosing <<<<<

    Retired @ 31yr 2mo as of 0000 hrs. 01-01-10. Yeah, all in all, it was good.

    Comment


    • #3
      Originally posted by VP1
      Hi Everyone,
      Have you ever been on a traffic stop and you thought something illegal might be in their car? Has anyone said "No" when you asked to search their car? If so, have you ever not been able to search their car because of that? Just wondering because it seems kind of pointless to say "no" because I'd think they'd come up with a reason why they can search it. Any experience?
      That's like an open invite. Can I search your car? No. Okay, well then you won't mind a) waiting for a warrant to search your car. b) that I search your car because that shiny object there on the floorboard COULD be a gun. c) since there is a curious white powder there on the seat.

      I think at best, you'd catch the officer off guard if you said no, but s/he'll still find a way to check it and slowly since you ****ed them off.

      Comment


      • #4
        sure.

        No means no, right.

        Reasonable suspicion allows for the detention fo a vehicle, it still takes probable cause or consent to search. The continued detenion from reasonable suspicion is our chance to build probable cause through continued interview, K-9, Plain View, etc.

        Comment


        • #5
          Typically, I don't ask to search a car unless I already have enough to get in the car anyways. Really, I just ask to see the driver's response and to make the case stronger if they do consent. So, in my case, I've had them say no and search anyway.

          Originally posted by VP1
          Hi Everyone,
          Have you ever been on a traffic stop and you thought something illegal might be in their car? Has anyone said "No" when you asked to search their car? If so, have you ever not been able to search their car because of that? Just wondering because it seems kind of pointless to say "no" because I'd think they'd come up with a reason why they can search it. Any experience?

          Comment


          • #6
            What happens if an officer observes something like white powder on the console, but in reality it's something as simple as crushed up candy or something. Would seeing something like that give probable cause to search?

            Comment


            • #7
              Originally posted by flash40
              What happens if an officer observes something like white powder on the console, but in reality it's something as simple as crushed up candy or something. Would seeing something like that give probable cause to search?
              It would really depend on the totality of the circumstances. Where are you; are you in an area known for drugs? Are there other things in the car like pieces of straws, razor blades or pieces of plastic baggies that would lead you to believe that this would be drugs? Do you know the people in the car to be associated with drugs? You have to consider all of these things. If all you saw was a little powder on the console and there was nothing else to add to your suspicion, I would say that it wouldn't be enough for a search. To answer your other question, If you have probable cause to conduct a search and nothing is found, it doesn't mean anything. As long as you have PC, you are in the clear. Sure, somebody could try to sue you, but people can sue you for anything, it doesn't mean you were wrong, or that they'll win.

              Comment


              • #8
                Originally posted by flash40
                What happens if an officer observes something like white powder on the console, but in reality it's something as simple as crushed up candy or something. Would seeing something like that give probable cause to search?
                It could. Remember, the standard isn't whether the officer is absolutely right in his assumption. It is only that based on the circumstances a reasonable officer would believe that it could be drugs.
                Originally posted by kontemplerande
                Without Germany, you would not have won World War 2.

                Comment


                • #9
                  Reasonable suspicion allows for the detention fo a vehicle, it still takes probable cause or consent to search.
                  You only need reasonable suspicion to search for weapons in a car.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by Frank Booth
                    You only need reasonable suspicion to search for weapons in a car.
                    Quite true! Reasonable suspicion that there is a weapon in a vehicle allows for a limited search, otherwise called a Terry search, of a vehicle. Such a search is limited to those areas and items, within the passenger compartment only, that would be capable of concealing a weapon and can be immediately accessed.

                    Obviously, the type of weapon you are looking for will dictate where you can look. Looking in the glove box or ash tray for a sawed of shotgun will be difficult to justify. Additionally, cases, luggage, and glove compartments that are locked are generally off limits during such a search since they would not allow for immediate access to a weapon.

                    The reasoning is the same as that used for Terry Frisks; it is for weapons only (items in plain view are still fair game) and is limited to areas that are immediately accessible by the driver or a passenger. For example, with a driver only, in Ford Excursion, it would be hard to justify a Terry Frisk of the rear area that is not immediately accessible. However, a tall driver in a small car can reasonably reach just about anywhere in that vehicle for immediate access to a weapon. Thus, the entire passenger compartment (minus locked areas as discussed earlier) would be in play.

                    “Roadside encounters between police and suspects are especially hazardous, and danger may arise from the possible presence of weapons in the area surrounding a suspect. Thus, the search of the passenger compartment of an automobile, limited to those areas in which a weapon may be placed or hidden, is permissible if the police officer possesses a reasonable belief based on specific and articulable facts which, taken together with the rational inferences from those facts, reasonably warrant the officer to believe that the suspect is dangerous and the suspect may gain immediate control of weapons. If, while conducting a legitimate Terry search of an automobile's interior, the officer discovers contraband other than weapons, he cannot be required to ignore the contraband, and the Fourth Amendment does not require its suppression in such circumstances.” Michigan v. Long, 463 U.S. 1032 (1983)
                    Phoenix

                    "He that would make his own liberty secure, must guard even his enemy from opposition; for if he violates this duty he establishes a precedent that will reach himself." ~Thomas Paine

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      I get told no all the time in reference to vehicle searches. sometimes there's just nothing I can do about it, but it adds to my suspicion. I firmly believe that people that have nothing to hide don't mind...JMHO
                      sigpic

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

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by flash40
                        What happens if an officer observes something like white powder on the console, but in reality it's something as simple as crushed up candy or something. Would seeing something like that give probable cause to search?
                        Totality of the circumstances. If, in a scenario, the driver is a person whom I personally know has a history of drugs, weapons, etc....I'm searching the car. If the driver doesn't "belong" in the area (yes, I work in the projects and you come to learn who does and doesn't belong there) and I see a powerdy substane, then I'm searching due to the area being a high crime/high drug area. If I dont' know the driver from Adam, he's in a high crime/high drug area, and I can articulate my suspicion based on timing, location, blah blah blah...I'm searching the car.
                        sigpic

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

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          People say no all the time. If the officer has nothing but a hunch to go on, then guess what, the car isn't going to be searched.

                          A man should never be ashamed to own that he has been in the wrong, which is but saying... that he is wiser today than yesterday. Jonathan Swift 1667-1745

                          It's only a conspiracy when your party is not in power.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Originally posted by Smurfette_76
                            I get told no all the time in reference to vehicle searches. sometimes there's just nothing I can do about it, but it adds to my suspicion. I firmly believe that people that have nothing to hide don't mind...JMHO

                            Some people actually know and understand their rights. Do you think a law student will allow you to search their car even if they have nothing to hide? Would you allow an officer to search a car you were driving? What if its your friends car, how much do you trust your friends? If I get stopped, and I elect not to identify myself as an LEO and I get asked for a consent search, I'm saying no. What would you say if the situations were reversed and you weren't an officer?
                            Last edited by LeanG; 04-14-2007, 09:35 AM.

                            A man should never be ashamed to own that he has been in the wrong, which is but saying... that he is wiser today than yesterday. Jonathan Swift 1667-1745

                            It's only a conspiracy when your party is not in power.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Originally posted by LeanG
                              Some people actually know and understand their rights. Do you think a law student will allow you to search their car even if they have nothing to hide? Would you allow an officer to search a car you were driving? What if its your friends car, how much do you trust your friends? If I get stopped, and I elect not to identify myself as an LEO and I get asked for a consent search, I'm saying no. What would you say if the situations were reversed and you weren't an officer?
                              Law students "think" they understand their rights. They have learned textbook constitutional law and not what we can do with street level law enforcement. Sometimes their "supposed" knowledge get them into more trouble. They are usually the ones that tell you no when they're asked for consent, but they don't understand that we've already got enough reasonable suspicion or probable cause. When you start to search anyways they try to stop you and ,all of a sudden, they are orbstructing governmental operations and can take a ride if they don't take the hint and back off. I've seen many lawyers-in-training dig themselves into a hole and cause themselves a lot of trouble. Really, if you just do your job right, and legally, don't worry about who it is in the driver's seat. If you have a legal reason to search, do it.

                              Comment

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