Traffic Stops 101

This is a discussion on Traffic Stops 101 within the Off Topic & Humor Discussion forums, part of the The Back Porch category; Excellent, thank you SIXTO!...

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Thread: Traffic Stops 101

  1. #106
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    Excellent, thank you SIXTO!
    "The best compliment to the Warrior is that others feel safe while you are around." I would add especially if they REALLY ARE safe when you are around.

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  3. #107
    Distinguished Member Array Doc Holliday's Avatar
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    Sixto and other LEO's I appreciate the job that you do.

    I have been pulled over quite a few times but have never gotten a citation. I find that being courteous goes a long way with most LEO's. I read your orginal post and I had followed most of those rules already to a T.

    One thing though....it seems that alot of folks that I see pulled over in my area are getting searched. (Look like average folks) Now, if I am pulled over and asked to be searched I will not give consent. It is not that I have anything to hide but I do not wish to have my stuff gone through. Although I am a law abiding citizen what if something illegal was in my car? (Probably 100% that there is nothing illegal but.....) What is your advice and how do you usually handle folks that do not wish to be searched?
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  4. #108
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    Consent searches can be a touchy subject.
    My short answer to your question is this; if you do not want to consent to a search, you donít have to give consent.
    I will only ask for a consent search if I think there might be drugs or other items of interest in the car, but have no solid P.C. (smell of marijuana or something like that)
    Unless reasonable suspicion or probable cause exists, you turning down a consent search should not be an issue at all. You also should only be asked for a consent search after the stop has concluded. The threat of a traffic ticket or promise of a warning is not allowed by law. This is true anywhere in the U.S. Some officers will do this, but that is illegal. When someone says no, it does raise my suspicions a little bit, but again, I only go down that road if I am suspicious in the first place.
    "Just blame Sixto"

  5. #109
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    I haven't read this thread until today....excellent thread SIXTO.

    I give all of you uniformed LEOs a big thumbs up for what you do.
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  6. #110
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    The thing that makes me uneasy is simple - if I do not give consent for a search then I all but would assume the LEO is gonna think/say ... ''so what do you have to hide"?

    In my case it'd be nothing worth worrying about but - I would also of course not wish a search just ''because''. Most all that'd be found is tobacco ash, loose change, maps, a packaged up Marlin Papoose (unloaded) and a large quanitity of general detritis!
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  7. #111
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    The thing that makes me uneasy is simple - if I do not give consent for a search then I all but would assume the LEO is gonna think/say ... ''so what do you have to hide"?
    It has been proven in court not giving consent to search does not give probable cause. I don't remember the case, and I'm typing a 12 page paper tonight, so I'm not gonna go lookin for it right now.

    However, watching "Cops" (always a reliable source) I have seen someone refuse consent, and the officer then brings in a drug sniffing dog, since that is not considered a search, and if the dog keys on anything, they then have probable cause to search. And of course for ratings sake, and for it to make the show, if they bring out the dog, there are drugs in the car. Otherwise it would just be a routine traffic stop with no consent to search.
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  8. #112
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    Thanks srfl, I have enjoyed this thread and what its evolving into as well.
    Quote Originally Posted by P95Carry View Post
    The thing that makes me uneasy is simple - if I do not give consent for a search then I all but would assume the LEO is gonna think/say ... ''so what do you have to hide"?
    Chris, I do think that when I get turned down for a consent search, but I try and put myself in the other guys shoes. I wouldnt press the issue if turned down. I have never asked for a search just because, but I do know officers who do. If I have solid P.C. that points to you are carrying drugs, I wont ask permission, I would just search.
    Some depts. work on a "points" system, to ensure their guys are out there doing their job. The goal is to get 10 points each day. A ticket is worth a point, a report is 5 etc. An officer may just be trying to "score some points" in asking for a search.
    "Just blame Sixto"

  9. #113
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    My last traffic stop (almost four years ago now) was the traffic stop from Hell.
    I was driving my parents car and well...

    To make a VERY long story short, I was speeding, I had no registration, no insurance and both of my tail lights were out.

    I was very honestly completely unaware of everything but the speeding.

    When he came back to the car the second time and just started listing all the stuff that was wrong my eyes just kept getting bigger and bigger and when he threatened to impound the car and hold me until someone could come and get me and pay all of the fines, I guess I'm not to proud to say I started crying (I was terrified, I felt like the worse person alive at that moment).

    I must have looked pathetic because he let me off with a ticket for the speeding, a warning for the tail lights (he let me go because the light bar on the top of the back window was still operational), and a fine for not being able to produce a valid proof of registration (or something like that). By the time all was said and done I was walking away with about $200 + in fines, but I was profusely thanking him because it could have been much worse. I was just required to send a card back stating that all the things he listed were fixed.

    When I got home (oh, did I mention I was traveling out of the state) I gave the card to my Dad and was pretty upset. He was also very shocked he had not noticed he let me drive a car with so much wrong with it.

    I have great respect for LEOs. Every time I have been honest and accommodating with them I have come away without too much trouble. I have only been pulled over three times in my life and that is three times too many in my book.

  10. #114
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    Quote Originally Posted by buckeye07 View Post
    It has been proven in court not giving consent to search does not give probable cause. I don't remember the case, and I'm typing a 12 page paper tonight, so I'm not gonna go lookin for it right now.

    However, watching "Cops" (always a reliable source) I have seen someone refuse consent, and the officer then brings in a drug sniffing dog, since that is not considered a search, and if the dog keys on anything, they then have probable cause to search. And of course for ratings sake, and for it to make the show, if they bring out the dog, there are drugs in the car. Otherwise it would just be a routine traffic stop with no consent to search.

    There are lots and lots of tricks to get into a car if needed, the K9 is a popular one. If a smart officer wants to search your car, he can with out any violation of rights or law breaking.
    I am not going to waste my time fishing in a dead pond, esp. when there is an ocean full of fish around me.
    "Just blame Sixto"

  11. #115
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    Lima, it can be a very intimidating experiance if you are not used to such things. That is one purpose of this thread. I hope it helps people to get over some fears and misconceptions.

    FWIW, I have changed plenty of fuses, bulbs to get people safely on their way. I even keep a vairety pack of fuses in my cruiser now.
    People remember those types of things. They often send letters to the boss or cookies... so it all pays off in the long run.
    "Just blame Sixto"

  12. #116
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    Quote Originally Posted by SIXTO View Post
    There are lots and lots of tricks to get into a car if needed, the K9 is a popular one. If a smart officer wants to search your car, he can with out any violation of rights or law breaking.
    I am not going to waste my time fishing in a dead pond, esp. when there is an ocean full of fish around me.
    Yeah, for some reason classes on search and seizure always bring up a whole lot of conversation in the classes we have on legal procedure in Criminology. A lot of "He took my three foot water bong and I swear it was for tobacco only and it was under a towel in my back seat so that shouldn't of been legal" type stuff from the hippies. And one of the professors knows a whole lot of LEO's and has tons of good stories about stuff like that. But a lot of the legal nuances were looked into.

    Learned something too about in your home an officer can search anything in your reach without asking, so if you don't want them looking in your house talk to them outside and close the door. Or something like that, I dunno.
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  13. #117
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    Quote Originally Posted by buckeye07 View Post
    Learned something too about in your home an officer can search anything in your reach without asking, so if you don't want them looking in your house talk to them outside and close the door. Or something like that, I dunno.
    This is true... to a point, its a very very fine line.
    "Just blame Sixto"

  14. #118
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    Quote Originally Posted by SIXTO View Post
    This is true... to a point, its a very very fine line.
    Yeah, I don't remember the specifics, but even with them it was rather tenuous.
    Fortes Fortuna Juvat

    Former, USMC 0311, OIF/OEF vet
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  15. #119
    Distinguished Member Array Doc Holliday's Avatar
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    I just worry about far fetched "What if's". I know that I have had a few passengers in my vehicle and I believe that all of them are like me, law abiding citizens. But "what if" they had something illegal that accidently got dropped in the vehicle without me ever even knowing. I consent to the search since I really don't have anything to hide and boom, "Sir can you explain this roach behind the seat?" I consented to the search and therefore whatever is found can be used against me.
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  16. #120
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    One of my pet peeves in life is cops searching vehicles just because they can.

    I sat in a Wendy's and watched a two city cops search a vehicle and spend over 30 minutes doing it. There were 4 teenagers involved, I've known all of them since the day they were born. All of them good kids, straight "A" students and I know their parents.

    The driver consented to a search, because he didn't know that he couldn't. The two cops couldn't believe that they didn't find anything so they called a dog and that took another 15 minutes. The dog searched and found nothing.

    The kids were upset of course. As far as they could tell, they didn't nothing wrong and didn't know why they got stopped. They were on their way to a movie, which they missed because it took over an hour for them to get pulled over for nothing. They received no citations, no explanations or anything.

    They came into Wendys and sat with me and we had a discussion abut it. The next day I went into the Police Station and talked to the Police Chief, a friend of mine about that very incident. After talking to the two officers about it, he could offer no explanation of why it happened, but he did assure me that it would not happen again.

    Its seems to be standard procedure around here for the city cops to harass the highscoolers and college kids. I dont like it, never have and never will. I know that if we got as many complaints about it at the Sheriffs Office, as they do at the city PD we would be short-timers. There are enough lawbreakers out there to spend time with.

    When I stop someone, and I ask to search, it is because I have an excuse...maybe I see open containers, or smell weed or alcohol or something. Ninety nine times out of 100, I get consent to search and log it as such with Dispatch. Many times I have found contraband, sometimes I have not. Of the few times that I dont get consent, I leave it be. I dont get upset, I dont look for more, I am just amazed sometimes that someone actually knows that they have the right to refuse consent and I leave it at that.

    Of course, if you get arrested for some reason, your stuff will get searched and all bets are off. That is the way it is.

    When I teach CCW, I routinely tell people that they can refuse to consent...but if the officer does it anyway, just to stand aside and let it happen and note the time, date, location, unit number etc. If you feel you've been violated, have your lawyer take it from there and let him fight it out.

    Sixto's thread has been a good one. I've been watching this thread and have pretty much agreed with everything that he has said. He is the kind of Cop that people learn to admire and respect. Changing a tail light or a fuse instead of giving a ticket goes a long long way towards public relations and makes the job easier for everyone involved. The fact that he started this threads proves that he is willing to go the extra mile.

    For that, I thank him.
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