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#862661 - 11/29/07 04:07 PM "Stop, Dont Consent to that Search!
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"Stop, Dont Consent to that Search!
Carrie Latabia Jones
Guest Columnist EdNews.org


How many times have we seen it? Someone is pulled over for a traffic violation, or maybe just a routine traffic stop, and the next thing you know his or her car is being searched. Nevertheless, most of the time, it is with the consent of the of the person being stopped. Why are you consenting to a search when there is no probable cause for one? The answer is simple, people are not aware of their rights.

The Constitution and the protections that it guarantees can be a bit daunting to "just regular ole' folks," but the gist of it goes something like this:

Police may initiate a conversation with any citizen for any reason, however they may not detain you without "reasonable suspicion" that you are engaged in criminal activity. When you are stopped, you should ask the officer, "Why am I being stopped?" If the officer does not indicate that you are suspected of a specific crime, then this is a casual stop and you should be allowed to terminate the encounter at any time, but if the officer indicates that you are suspected of criminal activity, you are being detained.

If a police officer asks your permission to search, you are under no obligation to consent. The only reason he is asking you is may be he does not have enough evidence to search without your consent. If you consent to a search request, you give up your Fourth Amendment protection against unreasonable searches and seizures, Scheneckloth v. Bustamonte, 412 U.S., 93 S. Ct. 2041, 36 L.Ed.2d 854 (1973).

Generally, if a person consents to a warrantless search, the search automatically becomes reasonable and therefore legal. Consequently, whatever an officer finds during such a search generally can be used to convict the person.


Do not expect a police officer to tell you about your right not to consent. Generally, police officers are not required by law to inform you of your rights before asking you to consent to a search. If, for any reason you don't want the officer digging through your belongings, after you have consented to the search, you should tell himthat you don't want him searching through your private things and If the officer still proceeds to searchand finds illegal contraband, generally your attorney can argue that the contraband was discovered through an illegal search and that evidence could be thrown out of court, this is not always the case though.

You have the right to terminate an encounter with a police officer unless you are being detained under police custody or have been arrested. The general rule is that you don't have to answer any questions that the police ask you. This rule comes from the Fifth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution, which protects you against self-incrimination. If you cannot tell if you are allowed to leave, ask the officer, "Am I free to go?"

I hope that this article informs people of their basic rights as far being stopped and the protections that are afforded to us by the Constitution. The goal of this article was to generally inform about the laws of consent and search, this article in not way is meant to be specific, for a more specific break down, I would advise to look at your state statutes, becaue they sometimes provide for more protection than the constitution does.

Carrie Latabia Jones is from Bunn, NC. and a 2nd yr law student at NCCU, enrolled in a wrongful conviction course. The Professor required an article about something that affects our community. She is also enrolled in a Criminal procedure course, where they were talking about searches and consent and how most people consent to searches because they don't know their rights, hence her inspiration for my article.

Snip........ EdNews
______

Now, some people believe that once one refuses consent, the officer performs the search anyway, because the refusal is a part of the grounds for "probable cause". But, the fact is the SCOTUS has ruled that a refusal is NOT probable cause.

Here's my question, how many of you would refuse a request to search, perhaps just on principle? Of course, if you would refuse based on something in your car, please feel free to tell us what it is.

I would refuse the request - I don't like anyone going through my personal stuff.

Also, it sure in interesting how, in TVLand, practically everyone allows searches and just will not shut up when being questioned by the police - especially in the Law and Order series - that is, by the way, a totally liberal platform - all versions.

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#862681 - 11/29/07 04:22 PM Re: "Stop, Dont Consent to that Search! X
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When you refuse, also ask the officer what their "reasonable articulable suspicion" is? They'll get the hint, and very likely leave you alone.
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#862687 - 11/29/07 04:25 PM Re: "Stop, Dont Consent to that Search! X
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Quote:
Here's my question, how many of you would refuse a request to search, perhaps just on principle?

I'm with you, _X_. (No surprise.) Maybe it would be a mistake, but I'd probably ask the officer why he/she wanted to search the car before I declined.

Quote:
Also, it sure in interesting how, in TVLand, practically everyone allows searches and just will not shut up when being questioned by the police - especially in the Law and Order series - that is, by the way, a totally liberal platform - all versions.

Not only that, they almost always confess in the interrogation room or from the witness stand two minutes before the show ends.

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#862705 - 11/29/07 04:34 PM Re: "Stop, Dont Consent to that Search! buggs
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Not only that, they almost always confess in the interrogation room or from the witness stand two minutes before the show ends.

Yes, that too. Wrapping it up with the bad guy losing is a good thing, but not even as real as the reality TV shows that are not real at all.

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#862716 - 11/29/07 04:45 PM Re: "Stop, Dont Consent to that Search! X
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I'll probably get Bugs' share of "you're just paranoid" comments, but I live in a relatively small town which is quite corrupt. Although I'm clean, I have a stimga attached to my maiden name. I can't tell you how many times I've been followed home by officers just for them to keep driving when I get to my driveway. I haven't been pulled over, but my brother has. He refused a search. I keep waiting for him to be pulled over again for no reason.

To be honest.. if I were asked to be searched, I'm not sure I would let them. My husband and I have spoken about this at length, and he thinks I'd be stupid to say no. I really just can't decide.

Funny how people don't know what goes on in rural towns.. in my town, there's no telling how many police officers are on payrolls.

Yet another reason I want to move.

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#862729 - 11/29/07 04:56 PM Re: "Stop, Dont Consent to that Search! X
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I think back to when I was in high school and when I first turned 21, four instances that I regret my actions in dealing with the PD:

1. My friend and I were drinking (under age) and a person who said he was a cop (flashed a badge) came up and asked if he could look in my trunk. We had already removed the alcohol and stashed it so I let him look. I hadn't had anything to drink so I wasn't hiding anything except that my friend had been! He told us to move along and that a marked unit would be coming by. Should I have allowed the search?

2. Walking home from a local drinking establishment, an officer pulled up to my friend and I and asked for our IDs. We were not "wasted" and we were merely walking down the sidewalk on our way home. Were we obligated to present our IDs (which were run for wants & warrants)?

3. Same situation as #2 except there was a large group of us and we were sober, just out for a 2 AM walk. Not being rowdy. We were all asked for names and/or IDs. They were checked for wants & warrants. Should we have complied?

4. Had a dorm room party in college. One attendee got very very drunk, got upset over a girl and proceeded to bang his head on a cement wall! The ambulance came and he was treated for acute alcohol intoxication. When the ambulance came, so did the police. At this point, I was asleep in bed. My door was knocked on and subsequently opend by the dorm RD at which time I was advised that the police would like to speak to me as the drinking occurred in my room. I gave a statement while intoxicated myself and was subsequently charged with "providing a place for minors to consume alcohol". I ended up agreeing to do some community service and the charges were dropped. What could I have done differently?

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#862744 - 11/29/07 05:10 PM Re: "Stop, Dont Consent to that Search! Ops
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Quote:
Funny how people don't know what goes on in rural towns.. in my town, there's no telling how many police officers are on payrolls.


why do I feel like I'm listening to Daisy explain her errant cousins Bo and Luke?
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#862843 - 11/29/07 06:10 PM Re: "Stop, Dont Consent to that Search! HappyGilmore
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Originally Posted By: HappyGilmore
Quote:
Funny how people don't know what goes on in rural towns.. in my town, there's no telling how many police officers are on payrolls.


why do I feel like I'm listening to Daisy explain her errant cousins Bo and Luke?


Happy, you really should stop listening to the voices in your head.. then you'll realize you weren't, in fact, responding to my comment on rural towns.

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#862859 - 11/29/07 06:21 PM Re: "Stop, Dont Consent to that Search! Ops
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Based on corruption and the small town peccadillos mentioned, I'd wonder about someone planting something in your car as they search. I'd refuse, for sure.

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#862905 - 11/29/07 06:48 PM Re: "Stop, Dont Consent to that Search! X
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Originally Posted By: _X_
Based on corruption and the small town peccadillos mentioned, I'd wonder about someone planting something in your car as they search. I'd refuse, for sure.


This has crossed my mind, too.

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#862907 - 11/29/07 06:49 PM Re: "Stop, Dont Consent to that Search! X
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I think that if you have nothing to hide, don't worry about it.
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#862911 - 11/29/07 06:51 PM Re: "Stop, Dont Consent to that Search! DeeQ
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DQ, I wish it were that easy.

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#863135 - 11/29/07 08:23 PM Re: "Stop, Dont Consent to that Search! DeeQ
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Originally Posted By: Devil Queen
I think that if you have nothing to hide, don't worry about it.

Depends on the situation, I think.

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#863147 - 11/29/07 08:33 PM Re: "Stop, Dont Consent to that Search! DeeQ
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Originally Posted By: Devil Queen
I think that if you have nothing to hide, don't worry about it.


I'd love to stop you, little devil - you'd end up with a lot to worry about!

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#863156 - 11/29/07 08:38 PM Re: "Stop, Dont Consent to that Search! buggs
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Originally Posted By: Bugs Bunny
Originally Posted By: Devil Queen
I think that if you have nothing to hide, don't worry about it.

Depends on the situation, I think.


That and the fact that you should not have to subject yourself to a search, period. Just the somewhat paranoid planting of evidence issue warrants not allowing a search. When you are in your car, its like being in your house. If a police officer asked if he/she could search your house, perhaps because the lawn was not properly cut, would you allow that person to rifle through your underwear drawer, etc I dont think so.

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#863162 - 11/29/07 08:41 PM Re: "Stop, Dont Consent to that Search! X
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Originally Posted By: _X_
Originally Posted By: Bugs Bunny
Originally Posted By: Devil Queen
I think that if you have nothing to hide, don't worry about it.

Depends on the situation, I think.


That and the fact that you should not have to subject yourself to a search, period. Just the somewhat paranoid planting of evidence issue warrants not allowing a search. When you are in your car, its like being in your house. If a police officer asked if he/she could search your house, perhaps because the lawn was not properly cut, would you allow that person to rifle through your underwear drawer, etc I dont think so.

Well, at the risk of hijacking the thread (as if I really care), how do you feel about electronic snooping without a warrant? Can't evidence be planted just as easily?

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#863166 - 11/29/07 08:44 PM Re: "Stop, Dont Consent to that Search! X
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Originally Posted By: _X_
I would refuse the request - I don't like anyone going through my personal stuff.


I agree.

Originally Posted By: _X_
Also, it sure in interesting how, in TVLand, practically everyone allows searches and just will not shut up when being questioned by the police - especially in the Law and Order series - that is, by the way, a totally liberal platform - all versions.


The best episodes are the ones when the DA loses the case.
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#863204 - 11/29/07 09:01 PM Re: "Stop, Dont Consent to that Search! buggs
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Originally Posted By: Bugs Bunny
Originally Posted By: _X_
Originally Posted By: Bugs Bunny
Originally Posted By: Devil Queen
I think that if you have nothing to hide, don't worry about it.

Depends on the situation, I think.


That and the fact that you should not have to subject yourself to a search, period. Just the somewhat paranoid planting of evidence issue warrants not allowing a search. When you are in your car, its like being in your house. If a police officer asked if he/she could search your house, perhaps because the lawn was not properly cut, would you allow that person to rifle through your underwear drawer, etc I dont think so.

Well, at the risk of hijacking the thread (as if I really care), how do you feel about electronic snooping without a warrant? Can't evidence be planted just as easily?


You should care - I'm armed! Anyway, I don't have a problem with electronic snooping - I do it to the entire bank staff all the time, but no one checks on me. 'Communication' is one step removed from my personal being, my house, my car, seems to already be available to lots of people anyway - besides, I already know that, so I'm careful not to do strange stuff in the area of communications, except for posting here. No one would be interested in what's posted in the BOL cooler, it's all little people primarily those banker bees that are desperate for attention or validation, some wanting more food sources, some wanting intimacy, some with nothing else to do but whine. It's like looking that the answers to big questions in a trailer park.

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#863211 - 11/29/07 09:05 PM Re: "Stop, Dont Consent to that Search! Becka Marr
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Originally Posted By: Ms. Becka
Originally Posted By: _X_
I would refuse the request - I don't like anyone going through my personal stuff.


I agree.

Originally Posted By: _X_
Also, it sure in interesting how, in TVLand, practically everyone allows searches and just will not shut up when being questioned by the police - especially in the Law and Order series - that is, by the way, a totally liberal platform - all versions.


The best episodes are the ones when the DA loses the case.


Right, Ms. Becka - that does happen, but seldom. Altough I like L&O, the liberal bent is disturbing at times and so obvious most of the time. Although it's not as bad as what passes for balanced and fair news reporting on CNN 24/7.

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#863234 - 11/29/07 09:18 PM Re: "Stop, Dont Consent to that Search! X
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Along the same lines, did you know you that stores (such as Best Buy and Sam's Club) don't have the right to detain you if you refuse to show your reciept on the way out the door?

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#863384 - 11/29/07 10:38 PM Re: "Stop, Dont Consent to that Search! buggs
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Originally Posted By: Bugs Bunny
Along the same lines, did you know you that stores (such as Best Buy and Sam's Club) don't have the right to detain you if you refuse to show your reciept on the way out the door?


I complain about that all the time at Costco. When I asked why they do it, they say so they can be sure every item was paid for. After he took the receipt and gave it back to me, I asked him: Did I pay for everything? He wouldn't answer.

Technically, it's false imprisonment. You're not free to leave the store with your purchases without being hounded by clerks.
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#863405 - 11/29/07 11:03 PM Re: "Stop, Dont Consent to that Search! buggs
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Originally Posted By: Bugs Bunny
Along the same lines, did you know you that stores (such as Best Buy and Sam's Club) don't have the right to detain you if you refuse to show your reciept on the way out the door?


Actually, I didn't know that - is it true or are you simply blowing smoke up my xxx, once again? If you are, that's really a bad habit, especially for a banker bee.

If it is true, I'm trying it next time at Costco!

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#863418 - 11/29/07 11:15 PM Re: "Stop, Dont Consent to that Search! X
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Check out some links, Doc. BTW, I never steer you wrong.

Consumerist.com (Also read some of the related links on this site.)

Yahoo! Answers

The problem, _X_, is that the stores and local police don't understand the issue and you may end up getting arrested if you don't cooperate. You have to ask yourself: "Is it worth it? Well, is it?"

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#863423 - 11/29/07 11:23 PM Re: "Stop, Dont Consent to that Search! buggs
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I'm not convinced by those sites - what specific law covers this?

Also, what about this: the buzzer goes off - someone from the store, normally a heavy set, bald or just big and dumb security type guy runs out - wants to look into your bag? Can you say no and move along down the road - can they excort you back into the store suspecting shoplifting, etc as is done all the time, it seems?

The interest thing about all this stuff is if one is living a proper life and not ripping off stores or driving with drugs in the car, etc one ends up not really knowing what the laws state, what one's right are given specific scenarios. Knowledge is king and key - one never knows what they will face in this life.

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#863430 - 11/29/07 11:33 PM Re: "Stop, Dont Consent to that Search! X
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X, my understanding is that they certainly can detain you - but if they do so without reason they are open to legal action by you. In the event you've set off an alarm, I'd think they have a pretty good reason to detain you until the police arrive. In the case that it's because you won't allow them to look at your receipt, not so much. But, of course, if they're smart they'll just ban you from the store when you refuse. So, no more Costco tofu for you!

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