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Old February 9, 2012, 04:39 PM   #76
FTG-05
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[quote]Thats terrible legal advice.

What to do when you get pulled over FLEX YOUR RIGHTS

Police have no right to search locked compartments with out a warrant, unless you give them permission.

You can give up your constitutional rights and submit to an illegal search if you want to, but I never will. ]/quote]

I totally agree. I can't believe some of the incredibly naive "advise" being given in this thread. "If you consent it will go easier". Incredibly naive. Incredibly stupid.
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Old February 9, 2012, 04:45 PM   #77
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I have never willy nilly asked someone to search their car just as a general rule. If I have probable cause, I search. If I don't, away they go. Sometimes you eat the bear, sometimes the bear eats you.

If you defend yourself I would give the police the facts of what happened, you don't have to incriminate yourself, but you can say " He attacked me, I defended myself." He had a weapon, etc. That gives responding officers things to look for, like witnesses, weapons, video surveillance, etc., that backs your side of the story. Rocks and bottles are in every 7-11 parking lot in the world, if someone tried to hit you with one, say so. Otherwise, it could vanish while waiting for your attorney.

Believe it or not, cops want to get the story straight and sorted out, and grab the right bad guy. Help them if the bad guy is the other guy.
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Old February 9, 2012, 04:45 PM   #78
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I want to re-iterate what OldMarksman said

Quote:
That's good advice--unless you intend to claim self defense.
A successful defense of self defense will require evidence, and that evidence may disappear at the scene never to be found again unless the officer is aware of it. Remaining silent can greatly increase that possibility. Pointing out witnesses and evidence before they disappear can mitigate that risk.
I would love to know how often a self defense claim that is made immediately to the poice is successful, compared to a self defense claim that is made after the fact... after being arrested and speaking with a lawyer.

DasGuy tried to make this point... but the proponents of the "remain silent" approach ignored him...
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Old February 9, 2012, 05:22 PM   #79
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I have never willy nilly asked someone to search their car just as a general rule. If I have probable cause, I search. If I don't, away they go.
I was personally the subject of a "willy nilly" search, so I know that they do happen. My situation was this: I was traveling between Orlando FL and Gainesville FL at night with my girlfriend. No drugs, no drinking or anything like that. A state trooper stopped me for going 61 in a 55 (yes, back when it was 55mph). I was made to sit in the officer's car for about 45 minutes while they called out the unit with the drug dogs to sniff around my car, search my car. FWIW, I had short hair, was nicely dressed, and the car I was driving was an Mercury sedan. Obviously they found nothing - there was nothing to find.

So, bad stops and bad searches do happen. In cases of truly bad stops and searches (like mine) they don't find anything and they know nobody will ever pursue them on it.
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Old February 9, 2012, 06:09 PM   #80
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Quote:
Quote:
Yes, I would be interested to know about completely innocent persons who spoke to a police officer and went to prison soley for the reason that they spoke the absolute truth, without regard to any other circumstance in the case such as the actual facts of the investigation (including misidentifications, lying witnesses, corrupt police officers and prosecutors, faulty evidence, etc.) I can be persuaded.

I would also be interested in this. You claim to have many examples, only limited by bandwidth. How about giving us just the 5 best ones...
Bro, I got a day job and can't answer internet posts all day.

The question is total BS though. The poster is eliminating upfront most of the causes for wrongful conviction and prosecution. This is a false argument. Those are exactly the reasons (mis-identification, lying witnesses, corrupt police officers and prosecutors, faulty evidence, etc.) why you need to be careful and not say much of anything or consent to be violated. You put those outliers into play and you telling your truthful story will get you locked up. Happens every single day. There are lots of other ways it can happen as well (but he did put "etc" on there I guess in hopes of eliminating every single cause of wrongful prosecution ).


Quote:
Believe it or not, cops want to get the story straight and sorted out, and grab the right bad guy.
Most often, but not always. I don't carry for the 99.9% of the people who don't wish me harm. I carry for the .1% who would be just as happy to see me dead in a ditch somewhere.
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Old February 9, 2012, 10:41 PM   #81
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Well, Q.E.D. Or not.
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Old February 12, 2012, 04:12 AM   #82
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Cops can ask for your consent to search your vehicle or your premises.

I've been a cop for almost 31 years. My best advice would be to politely decline such a request.

I'm not comfortable with the whole consent search thing, and I never have been, when it is used as a tool on a fishing expedition, which is what happens sometimes.

I think members of the public feel harassed by such police activity. I know I would feel that way.

I suspect there are HUGE differences operationally from department to department and in how the law is enforced in different regions of the country.

I suppose it all depends on the crime rate and the working environment of the locality where you are policing, but (speaking as an LEO) I am not comfortable with an overly aggressive style of policing UNLESS circumstances dictate that kind of response.
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Old February 12, 2012, 11:50 AM   #83
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Quote:
Simple questions, simple answers:

- Do you know why I pulled you over?

Answer: "No."

Reasoning: Because you do not, as you are not a mind reader. Even if you were going 110 mph he might have pulled you over for a tail light. Tell him you were going 110 and he will write you a ticket.

- Where are you going today?

Answer: Could be a lot of places. Be consistent however with a single answer 1-3 word answer. He may ask you again or make reference to it later.
There isn't an answer that could do anything to help you, and even short, consistent answers can hurt you. Do you have any weapons? Yes. (and you hand him the carry permit.) Where are you going? Home. Where did you come from? Post office.

You took said 4 words about a 5 minute trip, and confessed to a felony.

I take a more direct approach to fishing expeditions. I look him in the eye, laugh, and say something like, "I'm 40 years old. You think I don't know better than to answer questions like that?" So far the fishing expedition has stopped there. Never had any kind of reaction from the officer.
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Old February 12, 2012, 12:07 PM   #84
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I suppose it all depends on the crime rate and the working environment of the locality where you are policing, but (speaking as an LEO) I am not comfortable with an overly aggressive style of policing UNLESS circumstances dictate that kind of response.
There are circumstances that do rate it. However in most of those circumstances the driver is pretty much going to jail already.

Funny. On Friday I saw a vehicle search on the side of the interstate. I saw the police pull them over on the way to the store. On the way home there were three police cars with a K-9 unit going through their stuff.

The interstate here is a well used drug corridor. The cops know what to look for.
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Old February 12, 2012, 05:59 PM   #85
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Shut up

My dad always told me to just keep your mouth shut. Give them your name and drivers lic. I don't know why as my dad never had any issues with the police that I know in his life.

About 40 years ago I was pulled over and arrested for armed robbery. When they drove me to the location of the robbery the witnesses told the police I looked nothing like the person that had just robbed them. I was never 40 miles from this location.

To this day I believe I could have been railroaded into this crime and went to prison for some thing I never did.

Just keep you mouth shut!
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Old February 12, 2012, 07:17 PM   #86
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I can't tell if the Captain Obvious is a cop or not, but every thing he has posted on within his short time here is cop related.
Interesting body of posts, in such a short time.
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Old February 12, 2012, 07:58 PM   #87
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The problem is knowledge. A lot of folks are buying firearms nowadays and not taking the time to learn the law. The other problem is there is no uniform law which encompasses the entire country especially in the Northeast where you could drive through 5 different states with different sets of laws in a 300 mile span.

There is no police officer who takes pride in arresting a responsible firearms owner who is violating the law just because they stepped over a political boundary. However, an officer has little discretion when it comes to a violation of these laws. Its not the same as a person who does 5 mph over the limit. You can't just let someone go with a warning if they are violating a law which relates to firearms. The solution is knowledge and learning the law. However, there are a few people out there who will still get into trouble even though they learned the law and thought they were following it. So I wrote this thread for you guys who find yourselves in some trouble and have no idea how you got there.

Officers take pride in arresting guys who cause the community trouble and thats how it should be, however, it doesnt always work out that way. Sometimes there are responsible firearms owners who have no intention of committing any crime who do violate the law and an officer has no choice but to do their job in that situation. Just be safe, be knowledgable, know your rights and think about these things beforehand. If leaving your firearms at home is not an option, then take a moment to learn the law and your rights in these matters.
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Old February 12, 2012, 08:14 PM   #88
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There is no police officer who takes pride in arresting a responsible firearms owner who is violating the law just because they stepped over a political boundary.
I am betting serious money that you do not know a single DC cop. They downright revel in it. I hear NYPD are the same way but am unsure.
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Old February 13, 2012, 08:51 AM   #89
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So, you're saying that if you are pulled over for "swerving", possible DUI and you haven't been drinking at all or taking any drugs, you should still refuse to answer questions, take a field sobriety test or a brethalizer?

With that advice, I'd automatically lose my driver's license, possibly my concealed carry permit (or ability to renew) and guaranty to make some lawyer $5-20,000 richer.

Also, being investigated for possible DUI is very different than being investigated for shooting in self-defense, unlawful possession of a firearm, trespass with firearms, etc.

What if I'm out hunting and accidentally wonder onto someone's land where, in some places, its posted "No Trespassing, Hunting, Fishing, etc."? Police officer gets called out and finds that I'm trespassing with firearms. Should I remain silent? Ehhh, I don't think I'm going to remain silent and demand to talk to my attorney. I think I'm going to put my gun down gently, do what the officer says, be as cooperative as possible, try to explain my mistake and try to explain that I didn't intend to do any harm. I may get arrested anyway, but with my approach, I have a better chance of dismissal or leniency if/when I get before a judge.

This "one size fits all" approach is a bad approach in my opinion. People always need to use their own judgment, depending on the circumstances and many other factors as to which approach you should take with the police.
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Old February 13, 2012, 09:08 AM   #90
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Very reasonable advice, thanks!
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Old February 13, 2012, 11:19 AM   #91
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Skans stated:
So, you're saying that if you are pulled over for "swerving", possible DUI and you haven't been drinking at all or taking any drugs, you should still refuse to answer questions, take a field sobriety test or a brethalizer?

There are some things an officer will ask you to do which are optional and there are some things an officer will ask you to do which are mandatory, however, they are not going to let you know which are optional or mandatory unless they have to. Its up to you to research and know the law. You can say no to an officer in regards to some things and nothing will happen, however, in regards to other things you might just get arrested. Its not the officer's job to tell you what is right, wrong, mandatory or optional. They wont be giving you any hint hints or wink winks. You have to know the law which goes back to my original post.

In reference to your question, in some states you can refuse to take the field sobriety tests and refuse to answer questions about drinking. In the states that I know of the only mandatory test is the big breathalyzer machine at the station. If an officer in my state asks you to blow into a portable breathalyzer or to take field sobriety tests then you can say no. If you say no, they will probably yell at you, threaten you with jail and jump up and down which is perfectly ok for them to do. They develop probable cause through those tests. When they have probable cause, then they arrest you which leads up to the big machine which you have to take. If they do not have probable cause then they can't arrest you, but if they do arrest you then your attorney has a defense. Not many people ever refuse the tests so it rarely comes up. Of course, in different states there are different laws about field sobriety tests and I only have knowledge of certain areas. Your state might be different.

Your statements are an example of someone not knowing the law. If you take the time to research these things and think ahead of time then you can be well prepared. Of course, the best way to not get into trouble is avoidance. You wont be getting stopped for a DUI/DWI if you do not drink and drive. You will not be getting arrested in NYC if you leave your firearms at home. Just take some time to research the issues and learn how not to get yourself into trouble.
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Old February 13, 2012, 01:48 PM   #92
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Quote:
You wont be getting stopped for a DUI/DWI if you do not drink and drive.
People get pulled over for erratic driving. No one ever gets pulled over for DUI/DWI. If I happen to swerve, get pulled over, know that I haven't had a drink or taken any drugs, why would I not answer a few questions or even offer to take a brethalizer?

People get stopped for all sorts of reasons. I got stopped doing 61 in a 55 zone. The officer used drug dogs to search my car. Now, I could have objected to this - what do you think would have happened to me if I protested and objected? I consented because I have never taken drugs and I hadn't been drinking. It cost me 45 minutes of my life sitting in the back of a patrol car.

Was this a bad stop? Probably. Was it a bad search without any probable cause? Absolutely. Did I spend the night in jail? No. Did I have to pay an attorney? No. Did I have to make bail? No. Did I have to appear before a judge for arraignment? No. Why? Because I was 100% sure the officers would find nothing.
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Old February 13, 2012, 02:04 PM   #93
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Quote:
Good lord now my off duty friends are looking for candy dishes. Is it really that scary to folks to deal with police?
I live in Spokane. Do a google search of Spokane police reform. You are more than welcome to decide if it is justified or not.

Hypothetical questions:

1) if police shoot first and ask questions later, would that qualify as being scary?

2) if a pedestrian in a crosswalk or a bicycle rider is hit by a patrol car while the LEO is being distracted by his laptop (are we familiar with the term "distracted driving"?) would that qualify as being scary?
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Old February 13, 2012, 02:39 PM   #94
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There is no police officer who takes pride in arresting a responsible firearms owner who is violating the law just because they stepped over a political boundary.
The port Authority of NY and NJ comes to mind.

They have arrested folks who tried to check guns in at the airport after missing connecting flights (and thus being forced to spend the night).

They retrieved their luggage that contained the handgun, and tried to then check it in the next day when leaving.

Regretfully FOPA does not address this type of thing, so they technically violated the local anti-gun laws.

To jail, peasant.
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Old February 13, 2012, 07:56 PM   #95
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In reference to your question.....
Your statements are an example of someone not knowing the law.
Exactly.

I am not saying don't cooperate with the police. What I am saying is that you need to be real careful about what you say and do, if you do.
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Old February 13, 2012, 09:40 PM   #96
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The port Authority of NY and NJ comes to mind.

Its very easy to blame the police because they are the most visible figures. There are other figures involved in these matters such as the Prosecutor, the judge, politicians, etc. The reason why you do not vent on those guys is because you dont see them driving around from day to day. So its easy to want to blame these arrests on the police. However, as I said, the only discretion an officer has nowadays is in ways of traffic enforcement. They can still excuse someone for doing 5 over the limit, but they cannot excuse violations of laws which involve such things as firearms, drugs, violence, theft, etc.

Believe me, an officer doesnt want to place certain people under arrest. The officer may even disagree with the law and how its written, however, the officer has to do their job as they are sworn officials. They took an oath and are keeping with it. If they violate that oath then they will get seriously reprimanded if not outright fired.

So if you disagree with these laws then you should vent on the politicians and let them know how you feel. Venting on the police will not help matters. Like I said before, you should not expose yourself to these things in the first place. Every firearms owner should know by now the approved method of transportation of your firearms is Amtrak. Amtrak isnt going to suddenly divert into NJ or NY. The firearms owner should also know that NJ and NY are unfriendly firearms states and should be considered enemy territory or dark country. I think they should let people know when they buy firearms or get a CCW which states are hostile and which are friendly...

Last edited by CaptainObvious; February 13, 2012 at 10:07 PM.
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Old February 14, 2012, 01:33 AM   #97
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Quote:
People get stopped for all sorts of reasons. I got stopped doing 61 in a 55 zone. The officer used drug dogs to search my car. Now, I could have objected to this - what do you think would have happened to me if I protested and objected? I consented because I have never taken drugs and I hadn't been drinking. It cost me 45 minutes of my life sitting in the back of a patrol car.
Did you buy the car new? Suppose the previous owner left a joint under the seat? Or suppose a friend dropped something illegal in there. Suppose you had a firearm in your car legally and there's some confusion over it. (Recently happened to a member of a local forum who was charged with illegal concealed carry for a pocketknife and a firearm that was securely encased per FL law.)

What if you had objected? One of two things- they would have let you go. And you could have challenged the search in court. Or they would have searched anyway, based on probable cause or exigent circumstances. And you would have been able to challenge that in court if you had not consented.

IMO, there's never a good reason to consent to a search. You don't have anything to gain by it.
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Old February 14, 2012, 09:11 AM   #98
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I bought the car from my dad - he bought it new (Dad doesn't drink or do drugs). No guns in the car. I had no reason whatsoever not to permit the search - other than it was a clear violation of my rights. None of my friends were into drugs either - hard to believe, but true.

Quote:
IMO, there's never a good reason to consent to a search. You don't have anything to gain by it.
I was only 20 when this happened. I absolutely would not consent to the search today, simply on principle. But, lets analyze what you've said. If I didn't consent to the search, the police may or may not have let me go on my way - you acknowledge that there was a chance I could have been detained. That detention is loss of freedom. As it was, i was permitted to leave after about 45 minutes. No legal fees, no detention, no sitting in a jail waiting for the cops to get a warrant to search my vehicle - none of that. Is the State going to pay my legal costs or compensate me for my loss of freedom? No. So, even though I wouldn't consent to a search today, I did gain something by agreeing to allow my vehicle to be searched.

I'm not suggesting that others make the same decision an ignorant 20 year old guy did. But, I am pointing out that blanket statements like "there's nothing to gain" and "don't talk to the police without having legal counsel present" are not always right. There are exceptions. People need to be informed, think, and make good calculated decisions. Guidelines are good, but no set of rigid rules replaces a well informed, capable brain.

Last edited by Skans; February 14, 2012 at 09:19 AM.
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Old February 14, 2012, 10:11 AM   #99
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Dad doesn't drink or do drugs

Well, the fact is you don't know who in your community might be drinking, doing drugs or something a bit illegal even your Dad. If you go out on a drive along with your friendly neighborhood officer, you would be surprised by what you see. That guy next door who seems friendly and goes to work in a nice shirt and tie might be smoking pot. That nice elderly woman you see at the grocery store might be an alcoholic.

Despite what you see on COPS and other such television shows, thats not what officers do from day to day. The main call for service is domestic violence. The other main calls are traffic accidents and then there are the concerned citizens who find a family member less then sober not sure what is going on so they called 911 just in case. All these calls are usually to homes you would never imagine.

If you let others use your car, then there is some value in having it completely detailed once a year with regular cleanouts. No matter what you may think, there is a chance that someone in your family or within your friendship circle is doing something less then legal. Lets say they drop just a little marijuana somewhere between the seats and the dog picks up on it...
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Old February 14, 2012, 11:18 AM   #100
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Lots of speculation on what could have happened, but the fact is that the dogs picked up on nothing because there was nothing. I left 45 minutes later. Do you think these highway patrol officers were just going to let me go if I had refused and protested their search? These officers were way out of line in what they did. I got stopped and ticketed for doing 61 in a 55 on a major highway - I was made to sit in the back of a patrol car while they searched my vehicle with the dogs. Do you really think if I refused to cooperate that they would have just said "ok, you can go"? Get real! The best way out of this, knowing that they had nothing on me was to let them do their thing.

I could have and should have filed formal complaints against the officers. Given the same circumstances today, I'd probably refuse to let them search and I would make a formal complaint. You can second guess what I did when I was 20 - but, the bottom line was it was 45 minutes out of my life and $0.
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