Cop vehicle search rights, could I have done this different?

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Cop vehicle search rights, could I have done this different?

Postby AciDBatH666 » Mon Apr 16, 2007 3:56 pm

i'll try to keep this down to quick short notes, cuz i know i tend to elaborate and babble a lot. (When you type 100+ WPm you tend to just flow thru words too damn fast and never realize how much you're posting)

heres the skinny.
Had a tourney this weekend. I traveled with my buddy. On our way home from the tourney in this smaller town. I get pulled over for my window tint. Talk to the cop, asks where im headed, where im coming from. Tell him a tourney, asked how i shot... had a laugh that I shot real bad. Blah blah.
He lectures me about my tint, i say yeah I understand. He asks how dark it is, I tell him at least 5%.

He says hes going to let me go. Then decides hes gonna scan it anyways. Comes back, tells me its 1%. I laugh and say Im not surprised. He was going to let me go since we were from out of town. I tell him its going to come off soon cuz I'll prolly move to Houston and I know they're strict there.

He was about to let me off, but then tells me
"Louisiana has a problem with trafficing, it could be large sums of money, drugs, dead bodies... Is there any illegal contents in your vehicle."
"No sir"
He then goes thru a list of about 9 drugs, Cocaine, No sir, Pills, no sir, extacy, no sir.. marijuana, No sir.
"So if I search you're vehicle Im not going to find anything illegal"
"No sir"
"So you dont mind me searching?"


At this point my mind was trying to compute what I should do. My buddy JUST smoked on the way out, so i was debating on if he smelled it on him when he went to scan my window to check the tint.
I told him Yes to the search, because I dont smoke, and i know there isn't any drugs in the vehicle other than whats on my buddy.
If I would of known that he had no probable cause, I would of upheld my rights and refused a warrent-less search. But I didnt know what his probable cause was. I was worried if he didnt smell it on my buddy, and searched anyways and found it it would of been pinned on me. But he searched my friend and he told him it was all his and I had nothing to do with it.

Ive been trying to do some research on what my rights were, and what would of happened if I would of said no. I guess it all depends if he had probable cause or not.
I think I did the right thing, because all he found was on my bud. He searched my truck for 30 minutes and found nothing else.

My friend got a misdemeanor since it was his first time being caught. He tried to plead out of it, but I knew that wasnt gonna fly.
Didnt get arrested or anything because it was a misdemeanor. Im just glad he didnt try to hide it for the cop to find later and not know who's it was.

So any idea if I could of done it different? I wanted to refuse the search, but figured he would of just found a way to search anyways. I guess it all depends if I would of found his probable cause out first. I also found out that I have the right to leave if Im not being detained.
but still, I wanted to cooperate. It was his drugs and pipe, not mine. Im just thankful I didn't get dragged into an arrest or something along with him.
I dont need to get refused for a job because some dumbass friend helped me get a record.
Friends that smoke is still not an issue with me, thats all you, and its all your possessions. But as far as me driving to tourneys with friends, f*ck that if I know they're carrying and its under my property. Im learning about my rights right now. Doing a lot of reading and research to find out if I did the right thing. Which I think i did, which didnt get me busted for anything that wasnt mine
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Postby jmammo » Mon Apr 16, 2007 4:01 pm

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yqMjMPlXzdA

Watch that man. It has some good tips and stuff. You probably could have refused if you wanted to. I mean wtf was his reason?
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Postby jamsisjams » Mon Apr 16, 2007 4:01 pm

It is not lawful for police to arrest you simply for refusing to consent to a search.
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Postby Fritz » Mon Apr 16, 2007 4:33 pm

You had the right to refuse and ask point blank his probable cause.
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Postby some call me...tim? » Mon Apr 16, 2007 4:46 pm

yeah, you had no reason to consent to a search...the cop had no reason to ask other than the off chance that he might find something. personally, I'd feel bad if my friend got busted b/c I'd consented to an unnecessary search. If the cop had searched your car and found contraband in the car itself, then yes, you could have potentially gotten in trouble--hopefully if that were the case, your buddy would have the honor to take the heat for it. If he'd found it on your buddy, then no, it was all on him (legally speaking, how are you to know what he has in his pockets?). Even if you DID have contraband in the car that was yours, there's still no reason to consent to a search. If you get busted with something, you're busted...there's no check box on the ticket that says anything like "suspect lied about having ______ in his possession." If you fit a profile (young, male, stickers on your car, disc golfer, tinted windows, etc.) cops will often ask the same thing they asked you, using that tricky language where you're afraid you're condemning yourself for exercising your rights. And actually, there have been cases where even though cops have searched cars and found stuff, the cases have been thrown out b/c there was no just cause for the search. If you do consent to a search though, there's not much you can do to defend yourself if something bad is found.
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Postby AciDBatH666 » Mon Apr 16, 2007 5:29 pm

After doing a bunch of reading, I'm not sure if I would of done it any different. If I would of known that my passenger kept all of the stuff he had on him, I would of had no problem with refusing the search.
After replaying it in my head, and replaying his wording of the whole situation, I should of refused it...BUt I still had no idea what his probable cause was. I had no idea if he smelt it on my friend or what. I know he didnt see it.

ITs really one of those "in the moment" things. I was positive that if I told him no to the search, that he'd be able to get around it and search anyways.
I really wish I wasn't thrown in that situation. I feel sorry for my friend, but what am I supposed to do. I wanted to cooperate, get my damn ticket or whatever and leave.

I didnt have anything pinned against me, which was all I was interested in. I'm just partially blaming myself for my friend getting busted because of the way I handled it. He put me in a f*cked up predicament and I was forced to pretty much lie about it. All I wanted to do was cooperate to get it over with as quick as possible.
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Postby steezo » Mon Apr 16, 2007 5:53 pm

Just so you know-If you say no, the officer calls the dog, dog gets there "alerts " on your car and proable cause is established. Ride Clean- Plus if a friend stashed anything in the truck, you get charged because you were operating the vehicle. Ride Clean-
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Postby AciDBatH666 » Mon Apr 16, 2007 5:57 pm

steezo wrote:Just so you know-If you say no, the officer calls the dog, dog gets there "alerts " on your car and proable cause is established. Ride Clean- Plus if a friend stashed anything in the truck, you get charged because you were operating the vehicle. Ride Clean-


Exactly, This is what I figured would happen.
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Postby Fritz » Mon Apr 16, 2007 8:04 pm

steezo wrote:Just so you know-If you say no, the officer calls the dog, dog gets there "alerts " on your car and proable cause is established. Ride Clean- Plus if a friend stashed anything in the truck, you get charged because you were operating the vehicle. Ride Clean-


Depending on how close the K-9 Unit is, do you really think they will call in the dogs for a potential misdemeanor? They would only use that resource for something if they thought you were dealing and had a trunk full.

He was just being a tough cop yada yada.
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Postby Thatdirtykid » Mon Apr 16, 2007 9:49 pm

me having close relations to a cop, and that being my only reason to have any credibility on the subject, bet that if you refused the search you may have ended up w/ a ticket for the tint and been on your way.
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Postby Donkeypuncher » Tue Apr 17, 2007 1:06 am

Illegal tint is a fix-it ticket, so if you pull it off there is no fine or charge. If a cop has no probable cause to search tell him no you can't search my car. The only thing they can do after that is call a k9 unit to come and search the outside of the car, or try and get a warrant from a judge which won't happen unless they have a real reason to search.

Every time I get pulled over and they ask to search, I ask to see thier warrant to search my car. They usually get all booty tight and call out the k9, then I sit there and laugh at them because I'm not stupid enough to carry drugs in my car. When you refuse a search they usuall go all out and try to find a way to search your car, so you did the right thing by letting them search. I'm just an ass-hole to to the local cops, because they have always been dicks to me so I return the favor and treat them like crap.

I've almost file for a restraining order against one cop because he would pull me over everytime he sees me no matter what I do. He pulled me over for parking in a fire zone at mcdonalds when they told me to pull forward and wait for my fries. He followed me from 3 miles down the road, waited for me to get through the drive thru, then pulled up behind me with the lights on. He said he thought my liscense plate light was out, but then he saw it wasn't so he wanted to search my car anyway. I got so sick of it I called the police chief and complained, and I haven't been pulled over since.
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Re: Cop vehicle search rights, could I have done this differ

Postby plastic_fondler » Tue Apr 17, 2007 7:53 am

never let the police search your car/truck. If they want to search your ride, they will dig up cause or bring the dogs out.

Suggestion for your friends and others traveling.....turkey bags. Stay safe....
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Postby TexasOutlaw » Tue Apr 17, 2007 1:29 pm

I believe you did the right thing. The only credibility that I have on the matter is getting searched/stopped many times in my life time; HOWEVER, I don't do anything illegal other than drink. I have a license to carry my guns.

What would have happened if you had said no, you can't search my car is he would have made up his probably cause. You've already suggested that he smelled mota, that's all the probably cause he needed. No dogs necessary.

I always wait for the search to be over then ask for the reason and actually take out a small spiral pad and write it down along with his information (I figure I'll give him some anxious nights/days too). Most of the time they tell me I was acting or driving suspiciously.

On my way to San Antionio a few years back, I was stopped. He wanted to search my car. I believe I said no, but he searched it anyway. It was packed with tennis equipment (I was coaching at the time), and he wanted me to help him move some of the ball hoppers, and I refused. I told him it was his responsibility to search and to call for back up if he needed help moving my equipment.

So I get my pad and ask for his probable cause. You guys won't believe it... He said I smelled of weed. I had a churchil dominican cohiba in the cupholder ashtray I carry, but he claimed I smelled like pot.

I used to get stopped all the time and had the flash light in my face thing and questioned. It was obvious they were making up their reason for stopping you.
Especially when they say, "you were going AROUND 45" in a slower zone.

As far as friends that smoke, you are right in that they are a liability. Down here they won't be as honorable as your friend. They normally ditch it in the car or even throw it on the floor, so that the cop has to make a decision. I have no problem with people smoking, but if they carry while with me, they got more serious problems than the cop. I'll pull their ass out of the car and stomp them til I get out of breath. I won't even put up with people carrying weapons illegally. It puts me at risk as a law abiding citizen.

Oh I wont let one in my house either; I've seen too many people get set up this way, usually by ex gf's or wives.
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Postby Mr.SmOOOth » Tue Apr 17, 2007 1:46 pm

When I was 19 two cops followed me from the freeway off-ramp 3 miles to my house and pulled me over as I was turning into my driveway. The first cop said that I was 'weaving' and thats why he pulled me over. I had my cooler that I took to work on the passenger seat and the cop asked if I had any alcohol in it. I said no but he then TOLD me to get out of the car so he could search it. The only thing in the cooler was a few empty Pepsi cans so these 2 cops proceed to look under my seats all over the back seats and then open and search my trunk!
The whole time I'm just tripping out!!!! I'm thinking to myself; " This isn't right!' but I was young and pretty scared, even though I didn't do anything!
Finally, after finding nothing, the cops told me the they could charge me with a felony for having a baseball bat in my backseat (even though I also had a baseball glove and 2 baseballs) but they were going to let me go.
When I told one of my uncles what happened he flipped and wanted the names of the cops to file a complaint. I didn't get any of their information so there was nothing I could do.
My uncle made sure to educate me on my rights when it comes to dealing with cops. No searching my vehicle and I really don't have to say where I'm going or coming from. Run my license and when I come back clean I'm on my way. Cops hate it when you know their legal boundaries.
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Postby AciDBatH666 » Tue Apr 17, 2007 2:12 pm

Well thanx for the info. All the research I've been doing,and advice here on the forum has really opened my eyes up to what my actual rights are.
Its crazy to think I can actually badger the cop to answer "Am I being detained? And can I go now?"
that amazed me. You just assume as a good citizen that you just obey and follow their directions and you'll be ok. But its true that cops aren't there to be your friend or to cut you deals. Its not their job to be your friend, and they are trained to word things in certain ways to get you to waive your rights and open yourself up for any kind of admission to wrong-doing.

Im glad I handled it the way I did, but from now on if I get pulled over and I know theres nothing in my vehicle, I know what my rights are and its ok to refuse anything. Hell, I dont even have to answer anything they ask.
I dont do anything illegal, and I've got nothing to worry about when Im driving by myself.
I should of asked what his probable cause was, and then refused the search. But it all went down the way it went down. I didn't get anything pinned on me, which is all I care about. I think I'll prolly drive solo to tournaments now.

All this stuff Im finding out now is making me wanna go educate all my close friends so they know what their rights are so they won't be so in the dark as I was. It sucks, but common sense makes you think "Just obey the officer and comply and all will be well".
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