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Traffic Stop not a license for criminal investigation..

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  • SgtScott31
    replied
    Originally posted by Gene L View Post
    Vehicles ARE 4th Ammendment protected areas! This has been law for years and years and years. And I don't see why it shouldn't. So is a place of business, especially the private areas, like desks or offices. It's pretty basic to Search and Seizure classes.

    The reason 4th Ammendment laws are somewhat relaxed is because of the exigent circumstance that the vehicle is mobile and can drive away before you can get a search warrant. That, and that only. You find a briefcase in a car on a dog search, you have to get a search warrant to open the brief case.

    I worked dope for 8 1/2 years. You can't just search a car without PC. Used to, you could run a dog outside a car or (for example) the suitcases at an airport baggage check without PC. I don't know that you can do that any more, but you probably can, especially bomb dogs. You either need PC, or you need to make it a policy so you're not picking out vehicles that "look like dopers."

    That is the essence of profiling. Abuse of profiling has, indeed, tied our hands. I know the guy, or used to know him, who invented airport profiling, and subsequent auto profiling. He worked with DEA in Atlanta Airport.

    With foreign suitcases, Customs doesn't need PC to search, of course. So the smugglers would land at Miami, then go to Atlanta for points beyond.

    The guy determined that a rented car with two Columbian-looking males (it was Columbia back then) in it, driving slightly below the speed limit was probably hauling dope. And in most cases it was. They got permission to search the car, confiscated the dope, and busted the mules.

    But when less competent guys stared trying to profile, they started coming up empty and p-ing off a lot of people because of their race. Or because of exterior factors that had nothing to do with dope...like bumper stickers, a 1st Ammendment protected area.

    And our hands are tied.
    I am aware that vehicles are 4th Amendment protected areas. I'm also aware of the exigent circumstance, hence why I cited the Carroll doctrine on my last post.

    As far as airports are concerned, we can still run dogs around any bags that we choose to. I am a Sergeant with an Airport PD. We have DEA also on site, so I'm pretty familiar with scenarios with bags for drugs and bags for explosives. There's a little bit of a difference, but as far as EOD detection, which all of the Airport PD's dogs are, we can do it just about anytime/anywhere with baggage.
    Last edited by SgtScott31; 06-04-2007, 11:09 AM.

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  • Gene L
    replied
    Originally posted by SgtScott31 View Post
    I'm pretty sure from talking with Interdiction guys that they do not run dogs around 99% of the vehicles they stop unless there are some other factors involved. It just sucks that some states look at vehicles as a protected area and dogs cannot be used to establish PC for search. Seems that we're losing more of the Carroll doctrine as each year passes.

    Vehicles ARE 4th Ammendment protected areas! This has been law for years and years and years. And I don't see why it shouldn't. So is a place of business, especially the private areas, like desks or offices. It's pretty basic to Search and Seizure classes.

    The reason 4th Ammendment laws are somewhat relaxed is because of the exigent circumstance that the vehicle is mobile and can drive away before you can get a search warrant. That, and that only. You find a briefcase in a car on a dog search, you have to get a search warrant to open the brief case.

    I worked dope for 8 1/2 years. You can't just search a car without PC. Used to, you could run a dog outside a car or (for example) the suitcases at an airport baggage check without PC. I don't know that you can do that any more, but you probably can, especially bomb dogs. You either need PC, or you need to make it a policy so you're not picking out vehicles that "look like dopers."

    That is the essence of profiling. Abuse of profiling has, indeed, tied our hands. I know the guy, or used to know him, who invented airport profiling, and subsequent auto profiling. He worked with DEA in Atlanta Airport.

    With foreign suitcases, Customs doesn't need PC to search, of course. So the smugglers would land at Miami, then go to Atlanta for points beyond.

    The guy determined that a rented car with two Columbian-looking males (it was Columbia back then) in it, driving slightly below the speed limit was probably hauling dope. And in most cases it was. They got permission to search the car, confiscated the dope, and busted the mules.

    But when less competent guys stared trying to profile, they started coming up empty and p-ing off a lot of people because of their race. Or because of exterior factors that had nothing to do with dope...like bumper stickers, a 1st Ammendment protected area.

    And our hands are tied.

    Leave a comment:


  • JSandi
    replied
    When in doubt I believe that personal right should trump all, even if it means making it harder for us to work interdiction.

    We are our own worst enemies, when the courts hand us an instrumental tool instead of using it in moderation and applying it correctly we trip over ourselves to abuse the hell out of it then cry when it gets taken away from us.

    If anyone is tying our hands its us, we see more and more cops pushing the envelop with bad cases then the courts hand down case law which ties our hands and we have no one to blame but ourselves.

    Even with such cases as DUI, you know the guy the one who makes a stop for weaving, breaking the balk line at a stop light or good 'ole felony tag light violation. Then gets a guy who more or less makes it thru SFT, hooks him up takes him to the PD blows him and he returns with a 0.78 or a 0.60, the charges him with less safe citing his weaving as the sole contributing less safe factor.

    And the court tosses it, over and over and over...

    It's cops like that who end up provoking the courts into hog tying our hands.

    Leave a comment:


  • imtherookie
    replied
    they had a ruling not to long ago in louisiana about dogs sniffing and it was the total oppisite.

    It was in reference to time when roads get backed up if a dog was walked down the street and it alerted if a search could be conducted and they said yes.

    I'll try to find the info i have it somewhere.

    Leave a comment:


  • SgtScott31
    replied
    Originally posted by Gene L View Post
    Enjoy it while you have it. Just, please use discretion so you don't have the SCOTUS making decisions about unwarranted intrusions into a 4th Ammendment protected area.

    Our search limitations have been curtailled due mostly to (and I hate to say this) but over-zealous officers, and profiling.

    If we have PC to run the dog, we can. Otherwise, a traffic stop is a traffic stop, and we do not run the dog around 99.9% of the traffic stops we make. Profiling is a big thing in Georgia.
    I'm pretty sure from talking with Interdiction guys that they do not run dogs around 99% of the vehicles they stop unless there are some other factors involved. It just sucks that some states look at vehicles as a protected area and dogs cannot be used to establish PC for search. Seems that we're losing more of the Carroll doctrine as each year passes.

    Leave a comment:


  • JSandi
    replied
    Sadly you can get pulled over for damn near anything nowadays, so if you do get pulled over and you don't know why or the reason is not apparent to you just play it cool and don't admit to anything let the cop tel you why he/she stopped you and go from there.

    I've worked with folks who would find the car they wanted to stop then find the PC after they put it on the shoulder, usually it had more to do with the occupants than anything else.

    Working traffic is like playing any game, there are rules which you must abide by unfortunately there are many cops who like to push the envelope and a few who just think the rules are plain wrong and they are right.

    Sadly your rights against unreasonable search and seizure, it all seems to be a casualty of the war on some drugs.

    Leave a comment:


  • MEM-TEK
    replied
    Thanks to all who replied. I have always wondered if I could get pulled over just for momentarily weaving while, for example, fiddling with my radio squirming a bit to to get more comfortable, or momentarily looking down to put my hamburger back down on the passenger seat.

    Leave a comment:


  • Gene L
    replied
    Well, there are lots of reasons to stop a car that's weaving that are perfectly legit...to check on the driver's health, for one reason. But there is no presumption that the law is being broken, either.

    It wasn't the stop that got the deputy in trouble, it was what happened after the stop.

    Leave a comment:


  • JSandi
    replied
    As Gene pointed out "weaving within the lane" is not against the law, the actual charge in GA is "Failure to Maintain Lane". The lane is market out for a reason, you are to stay inside the lane, if you weave within the lane its not a crime.

    A DUI stop based on just weaving would be shaky at best personally I want at least one more solid indicator or violation such as speeding and weaving or weaving then cutting into another vehicles path/lane.

    Leave a comment:


  • SRT936
    replied
    Originally posted by MEM-TEK View Post
    I am new here and am not a LEO, but it seems to me that weaving in a lane has long been established as grounds for suspecting that the driver is DUI or at least that the driver may be too tired to safely operate a motor vehicle.
    Simple weaving within a lane is NOT grounds for a stop. Weaving in combination with additional factors taken as a whole may justify a stop. Weaving within a lane is one of the building blocks to reasonable suspicion but it is not, in and of itself, the whole building. As said above, there is no law against weaving in your own lane.

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  • Gene L
    replied
    It certainly might be grounds for a stop, but it's not grounds for a "warning." There's no law in Georgia against it.

    Weaving is most often caused by talking on a cellphone. There is no solid presumption that drugs are the only reason to cause weaving, as we all know.

    So, the stop wasn't wrong...or maybe could have been defended if the deputy hadn't made certain statements on his camera that led the court to believe he felt this guy was dirty, not based on PC but based on intuition, or profiling.

    At any rate, the stop was pretextual and based on the bumper sticker on the car, which was said by the deputy, on tape. Later on, he testified to the fact that he smelled marijuana, but he did NOT say this on the tape. He said "This looks hinky." I think this destroyed his credibility.

    The worst thing was the amount of time it took him to write a bogus warning for a crime that did not exist. He used that time to get permission for the search. Everyone knows that a search with permission is the most difficult for the defendant to defend, but the GA Court felt the deputies' motives were pretextual and based on profiling.

    And that's how you make bad law.

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  • MEM-TEK
    replied
    Originally posted by Gene L View Post
    Sure is true in my state. A deputy stopped a guy who looked hinkey, had all the dope-related bumper stickers on his car. He stopped him for weaving within the lane, talked to the guy for 20 minutes gave him a warning, and got permission to search the vehicle. Found 6 pounds of marijuana.

    The case was thrown out becaue of two reasons: first, the court held there was no reason to make the stop initially, as there is no law against "weaving within the lane" and second, they held it was profiling because of the look of the car. Third, he held the guy 20 minutes before writing the ticket, which the court felt was unconscienceable for a traffic ticket, and unacceptable especially for a warning ticket for a crime that didn't exist.

    They held that the stop was a pretext for a search.
    I am new here and am not a LEO, but it seems to me that weaving in a lane has long been established as grounds for suspecting that the driver is DUI or at least that the driver may be too tired to safely operate a motor vehicle. Every day motorists use their cell phones to report suspected DUI drivers because the drivers are weaving. The driver's nervousness and lack of any smell of alcohol would make me think that either the driver is on some other form of drugs, and it wouldn't matter if the drugs were legally prescribed or illegal drugs if the driver was driving erratically. In either case one could argue that the motorist was DUI. As far as the K9 smelling around the car? Unbelievable that the lower court overturned the conviction. If you are out in public with your vehicle, then you are out in public -- period! Thats the way I see it. I am glad that the Supreme Court overturned the lower court's rulings in these cases.

    Leave a comment:


  • Gene L
    replied
    Still the same in GA. As far as running a dog around a car, it would be viewed as an unjustified detention, even though it took only 3-5 minutes, unless you have probable cause.

    In fact, in some state, and it might have been mine, the court or the US Court of Appeals ruled that the cop couldn't detain a driver for a license check because the computer was down.

    I agree on yahoo officers screwing things up. We dis-joined a task force after seeing that happen. The officers were clearly profiling, a practice which works but is totally misunderstood and misapplied by most officers.

    A black FBI agent got stopped three days in a row for a dog "run-around". He wasn't speeding enough to ticket (has to be 15 over, I think, in Georgia, except for GSP) but was speeding enough to be stopped.

    The worst thing in the world a cop can do is to MAKE BAD LAW.

    Leave a comment:


  • JSandi
    replied
    In GA (where I entered LE) the whole idea of the pretextual traffic stop is complete voodoo and most judges are weary of them when argued in court.

    Honestly having worked interdiction myself and worked with some real idiots as well who could not articulate their way out of a wet paper sack, I feel much the same as Gene, over-zealous officers, and profiling is/are killing one of the last remaining tools we have left.

    Some of these self proclaimed dope warriors would chase the most ludicrous looking vehicles down for little to nothing and end up (having to) push the extreme ends of the envelop for a misdemeanor weed case, based on very shaky PC. The judges grew tired of this cloging the docket day in and day out and began to doubt their very credibility in court.

    The attorneys are even now attacking the whole "I smell marijuana" basis for the search because alot and I mean alot of these guys were using that as PC to get into the car then finding no weed at all let alone burnt weed but would find a small amount (personal use) cocaine or meth.

    The violator would not have any weed convictions in their history, test neg for weed etc... but would say they used only the meth or cocaine and the lawyers would then begin to take apart the case from the search forward.

    Basically accusing the cops of fabricating the PC for the search then getting the dope tossed under the fruit of the poison tree doctrine.

    It worked more than once where I came from.


    The founding fathers must truly be rolling in their graves.

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  • Gene L
    replied
    Originally posted by SgtScott31 View Post
    If an officer is making stops for traffic violations, and during the stop decides to run his dog around the car, it is completely legit in our state (TN). Deciding that it is not legal during the course of the stop in any state is ridiculous. I feel sorry for you guys.

    Enjoy it while you have it. Just, please use discretion so you don't have the SCOTUS making decisions about unwarranted intrusions into a 4th Ammendment protected area.

    Our search limitations have been curtailled due mostly to (and I hate to say this) but over-zealous officers, and profiling.

    If we have PC to run the dog, we can. Otherwise, a traffic stop is a traffic stop, and we do not run the dog around 99.9% of the traffic stops we make. Profiling is a big thing in Georgia.

    Leave a comment:

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