This is a discussion on Authority of LEO within the Law Enforcement, Military & Homeland Security Discussion forums, part of the Related Topics category; I would like to hear from LEOs on the forum concerning whether or not persons stopped/detained by law-enforcement are required by statute to obey all ...
I would like to hear from LEOs on the forum concerning whether or not persons stopped/detained by law-enforcement are required by statute to obey all lawful commands of officers on scene and further, if so, can they just take their sweet time about doing it. All of my life I have believed that we all must obey any and all lawful commands given by LE.
I have found a number of disturbing posts on gun forums as well as hearing opinions in conversations with others that a significant number of people think that generally, if you are not under arrest yet, the answer is no and that if under arrest that they can have a discussion/debate with the officer before complying.
If that were really the case (and I hope it is not), it seems to me that we could just about forget about respect for the law.
"The true soldier fights not because he hates what is in front of him, but because he loves what is behind him." G.K. Chesterton
When in doubt, just ask yourself, "What would Theodore Roosevelt do?"
Every society is 3 missed meals away from anarchy.
What specifically are you meaning by lawful commands? I am not a LEO, but for clarification that might help.
Do you mean, show me your drivers license, and registration? Do you mean exit the vehicle, and stand where I can see your hands? Do you mean answering what your name and DOB is? There are plenty of things that a LEO can ask for you to comply with, and I assume that most times (not all) they would be within the states/city statutes or ordinances.
Now, if I am traveling through Memphis and get pulled over by a Shelby County Deputy being from Texas this is quite possible, I will not permit them to search my vehicle. I will insist that they bring the dogs out and let them have a turn. I understand that the Deputies have a tendency to rumage through all the luggage, belongings and leave them on the side of the road for you to pick up as they leave. That is not going to happen, I will allow them to use the other lawful means of the dogs nose in that case.
Most everything else I will comply with I suppose and they have the legal backing to request many things.
Just remember that shot placement is much more important with what you carry than how big a bang you get with each trigger pull.
Texas CHL Instructor
Texas Hunter Education Instructor
In Texas you are required to obey any lawful order given by a Peace Officer. If you refuse to comply you will most likely end up in jail, although there is some amount of discretion by the Officers (and hopefully "common sense" will prevail most of the time for minor issues and violations) allowed.
Is there a time limit? No, but if the issue constitues a danger and exigency is required then ones delay may land them in the same predicament for safety reasons.
If one is already under arrest then there will be no discussion. The arrestee may talk all they wish while in the process of being arrested or transported but that isn't necessarily a discussion, its usually just the arrestee venting. They are under arrest and that most likely will not change.
A Wise Man Changes His Mind, but a Fool Never Does
"all lawful commands" is the key, not all questions or commands may be by the law.
if he tells you to cluck like a chicken you don't have to comply (extreme I know but it gets the point across, illegal seizure of a firearm is more likely to be attempted if you run into a LEO thats anti-CCW)
Lawful of unlawful can be sorted out later with a good lawyer. Comply at all times to any command is my advice.
I American and I Ameriwill!
yeah, depending on the officer and your personal skills you could politely ask him to look it up for you, but beyond that comply and don't get beligerent.
"Far better it is to dare mighty things, to win glorious triumphs, even though checkered by failure than to rank with those poor spirits who neither enjoy much nor suffer much, because they live in a grey twilight that knows not victory nor defeat."
Just be really slow in obeying or refuse to do whatever the LEO asks (within reason and common sense) and let us know how that works out.
Blessed be the Lord my strength, which teacheth my hands to war, and my fingers to fight.
Senior Instructor for Tactical and Defensive of Texas
Florida got a statute for "resisting an officer without violence". It is often applied for "mouthing off", "being a pain", or just "ticking off police".
I never considered a difference of opinion in politics, in religion, in philosophy, as cause for withdrawing from a friend. (Thomas Jefferson)
Do what the 'man' says...be polite...basically, keep your mouth shut...let your lawyer do the talking.
Stay armed...keep your trap shut...stay safe!
Proverbs 27:12 says: “The prudent see danger and take refuge, but the simple keep going and suffer for it.”
Certified Glock Armorer
NRA Life Member
As others have said, be polite and do not be argumentative. DO NOT voluntarily submit to a search of any kind. YOU DO NOT HAVE TO, and to just say, "No" should not be considered uncooperative; if you are being polite. If you are under arrest you won't be asked to consent to a search. The search will be considered "incident to arrest". Your lawyer may get anything found dismissed, but leave that for your lawyer.
Some states have a statute that allows a citizen to resist an "unlawful" arrest. However, the burden of proving the arrest was unlawful will be on you and the burden is high. If you fail in your proof you will have more problems.
Some officers are masters at getting you to lose your cool and do something stupid. Just as some citizens are masters at getting the officer to lose his/her cool and do something stupid.
If you think things are not being done correctly, request a supervisor. If things still seem to be going wrong, go with the flow and let your attorney handle things.
Bottom line, keep your cool. If you can't do that, well you are going to have problems, pure and simple.
The street is not the place to debate the law. The officer will not have that debate with you, so don't even try to go down that road.
Words of wisdom by digitalexplr!
"The gun is the great equalizer... For it is the gun, that allows the meek to repel the monsters; Whom are bigger, stronger and without conscience, prey on those who without one, would surely perish."