Have you ever refused a search?

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Have you ever refused a search?

Postby 1durphul » Tue Aug 21, 2012 5:55 pm

So, I was reading the other thread about searches of vehicles, and the advice on that topic.

I'm actually really curious to hear actual stories of people who have refused searches. How the officers reacted. How you approached it. Whether or not they searched your vehicle anyway.

Do you have a personal story where you stood up for your rights under the 4th and 5th Amendments? I'd love to read it here.
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Re: Have you ever refused a search?

Postby teardropper » Tue Aug 21, 2012 8:05 pm

If you are are talking about refusing to have your vehicle searched at Gate, forget about it. It is a stowaway, fireworks, firearms search and you can't refuse. Though my first Burn my funky old '77 class C was one month mine. When I got to Gate the guy took a look at me, my rig, then said, "What a fine Burning Man rig," and waved me through. No idea why. The next year I had the floor covered in 10 foot sections of 6 inch PVC irrigation pipe that was really hard to walk on and was my bowling alley. He took a couple steps on it, about did a header, and said everything looked fine.
If you are talking about law enforcement, I suggest you go to the ACLU site.
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Re: Have you ever refused a search?

Postby Bama » Tue Aug 21, 2012 8:17 pm

Ive resisted posting on eplaya for a couple years now. So I figured I'd chime in on something different.

I don't really have experience myself refusing search because thankfully I've never been in the position. But I saw this video a while back that expemplifies perfectly how to handle cops pushing their authority. it's not a vehicle search, but it's still similar idea.

Basically the just of it is a law student was open carrying a firearm, which is legal, but was detained by police for questioning, even though they had no motive other than he was open carrying. (and I am making no stance or statement on carrying firearms. Just respect the guys demeanor in handling it)

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jfdEbe7e9GE&sns=em[/youtube]
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Re: Have you ever refused a search?

Postby 1durphul » Tue Aug 21, 2012 11:05 pm

Bama wrote:Ive resisted posting on eplaya for a couple years now. So I figured I'd chime in on something different.

I don't really have experience myself refusing search because thankfully I've never been in the position. But I saw this video a while back that expemplifies perfectly how to handle cops pushing their authority. it's not a vehicle search, but it's still similar idea.

Basically the just of it is a law student was open carrying a firearm, which is legal, but was detained by police for questioning, even though they had no motive other than he was open carrying. (and I am making no stance or statement on carrying firearms. Just respect the guys demeanor in handling it)

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jfdEbe7e9GE&sns=em[/youtube]



That is a really interesting video. Both people were civil in the end and shockingly it didn't escalate. I wonder how much of that has to do with the guys camera.
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Re: Have you ever refused a search?

Postby 1durphul » Wed Aug 22, 2012 12:48 am

teardropper wrote:If you are are talking about refusing to have your vehicle searched at Gate, forget about it. It is a stowaway, fireworks, firearms search and you can't refuse. Though my first Burn my funky old '77 class C was one month mine. When I got to Gate the guy took a look at me, my rig, then said, "What a fine Burning Man rig," and waved me through. No idea why. The next year I had the floor covered in 10 foot sections of 6 inch PVC irrigation pipe that was really hard to walk on and was my bowling alley. He took a couple steps on it, about did a header, and said everything looked fine.
If you are talking about law enforcement, I suggest you go to the ACLU site.



I'm talking about law enforcement. I'm asking for personal stories of eplayans standing up for themselves and retaining their 4th and 5th Amendement rights. Whether it was at the event, or New York City, I'm just curious to hear those stories and how it went.
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Re: Have you ever refused a search?

Postby yumyumms » Wed Aug 22, 2012 1:12 am

If an officer asks you to do or search something or enter some place, it is because he does not have the right to do so without your consent.

When they have a right to do what they want, they WILL do what they want and TELL you, not ask.


That being said, when faced with a request where the officer is trying to help you, or pressure you into giving up your rights- it is always wise to answer with a "Im sorry officer, but respectfully, no". Also remember that adding ANY details or excuses or what have you simply gives them more details to work with to find a foothold to an excuse to do what they want. If they continue to push and ask questions regarding why you arent giving permission, rather than answer the question they ask, the correct response is: "Im sorry, am I being detained or taken into custody?" If they say no, "thank you, have a nice day."

If they search anyway after you said no, make sure to repeat that you are not going to get in their way, but you are respectfully refusing consent to search (watch your tone of voice!) but this time make sure you are saying it much louder so onlookers can hear.


Once again, remember this: if a cop asks to do something, they are doing so because they CANT do so without your permission. They do not ask out of politeness, and it matters little in the eyes of the law wether or not not consenting makes you look suspicious or not. You have rights.
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Re: Have you ever refused a search?

Postby yumyumms » Wed Aug 22, 2012 1:17 am

And yes, I have refused consent to search my car in the past- I got pulled over for my lights being off when I left a bar.

I was very cooperative, I passed field sobriety test, blew within legal limits.

When the officer asked "Is it ok if we search your vehichle"

I simply said "Im sorry, no officer"

And that was the end of that. They told me to remember to keep my headlights on and to watch my drinking and driving (I had 2 drinks in as many hours). Let me go with no ticket.
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Re: Have you ever refused a search?

Postby teardropper » Wed Aug 22, 2012 7:05 am

Yy is correct. Lock your doors, roll your windows down about 1/3 , keep your hands on top of the steering wheel, ask why you are being detained and if you can be on your way. Contintinue to ask this. Refuse consent, politely and ask to be on your way. Give them the papers required. Continue to politely refuse and to be allowed to be on your way. You need not offer reasons or excuses. They are not necessary. They are detaining you. They must provide you a legal reason. Otherwise ask to be on your way. Yes, I have done this. An officer can look at the readily visible parts of your car but must have your permission to see more WITHOUT PROBABLE CAUSE. You have the right to travel freely so if there is nothing that is suspicious in view you may refuse to be further detained by searches and be on your way. Ask for it. And there is nothing suspicious in doing this. Be polite, be courteous, but you just have someplace else to be or that you would rather be. The officers I have said this to seem to have understood this.
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Re: Have you ever refused a search?

Postby timcat » Wed Aug 22, 2012 10:33 pm

Years ago I refused a search of my car when I was pulled over on the way to a desert rave. The officer made all three of us get out of the car and frisked us. None of us were carrying anything illegal but the officer still wanted to search my car. I had to repeatedly tell him NO as he asked several times. He knew the rave was happening and asked all sorts of questions about drugs and if we use them. I told him that we don't and that we were going because we like the music. I also repeatedly stated that we had been driving for nearly three hours already, were anxious get to the party, and would like to be on our way. The cop really wanted to search my car and seemed to have a hard on to bust some ravers. I played it cool and followed the book about what to say and not to say. I was not particularly polite but was not rude. I don't say "please" to cops who pull me over and detain me. After about 30 minutes of going in circles with the tool I said, "If you are going to give me a ticket just write it so I can be on my way." He rudely retorted, "Oh, I'm going to give you a ticket alright!"

A couple of subordinate officers were also on the scene just standing back mostly, shining a flashlight and looking through the windows a few times. Must have pissed the head cop off that those rookies had to see him lose his little battle. In his frustration he must have forgot how fast I was going because the speeding ticket I received was pretty mild. It only cost me $50 and was not reported to my insurance!

So there's a story for ya :-)
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Re: Have you ever refused a search?

Postby gyre » Wed Aug 22, 2012 11:34 pm

Yes, more than once.

Refused to consent after a search too.
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