BLM Officer Car and Personal Searches: how to respond?

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BLM Officer Car and Personal Searches: how to respond?

Postby watsonic » Mon Aug 22, 2011 3:46 pm

Hi,

A link to this was sent out over the JRS recently: http://www.youtube.com/user/FlexYourRights

My question is does all of this apply to BLM officers detaining you on BLM land?

What if one is asked by a BLM officer to have their bag searched when walking around playa?

What rights do you have on federal land?

w
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Re: BLM Officer Car and Personal Searches: how to respond?

Postby JStep » Mon Aug 22, 2011 4:01 pm

You *always* retain all of your constitutional rights unless you voluntarily waive them.
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Re: BLM Officer Car and Personal Searches: how to respond?

Postby A Jester » Mon Aug 22, 2011 5:11 pm

watsonic wrote:Hi,

A link to this was sent out over the JRS recently: http://www.youtube.com/user/FlexYourRights

My question is does all of this apply to BLM officers detaining you on BLM land?

What if one is asked by a BLM officer to have their bag searched when walking around playa?

What rights do you have on federal land?

w


Yes it does apply to BLM officers detaining you on BLM land. Being a BLM officer on BLM land just gives them regular law enforcement powers, not special "you're in my house" powers, or anything like that.

You have all your federal rights on federal land.

If a BLM officer asked to search my bag, I'd politely ask them what would happen if I refused. Then, I'd head over to the nearest Ranger station and fill out a Law Enforcement Feedback Form. It's very important for the health of the event to fill out those forms (especially with positive feedback!). A Ranger team meets with the law enforcement agencies EVERY DAY. So, if there is a cop crossing boundaries out there, and you report it on Tuesday, he might stop doing it for the rest of the event.

Help your fellow Burners, help your self, help the event. Please fill out the Law Enforcement Feedback Forms.

If an officer did search my bag, and found something in it he didn't like, I might go find Lawyers for Burners or the A.C.L.U. Both of whom are out there to help, as well.
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Re: BLM Officer Car and Personal Searches: how to respond?

Postby essjay » Mon Aug 22, 2011 6:11 pm

JStep wrote:You *always* retain all of your constitutional rights unless you voluntarily waive them.



Careful - on your way up, you cross tribal land. Ultimately, your Federal (not State) constitutional rights should hold up . . . just realize that the time between arrest and trial vindication is several months (enough to ruin your burn and cost you thou$ands). This is true for any LEO interaction - not just tribal.

Point being, try to make any LEO interaction as nice as possible. Don't waive your rights, but also realize that if you have a bad attitude on the road-side and try to be a road-side lawyer - (DON'T argue constitutional law with a cop) that it may piss off the cop enough to arrest you (which would probably include a search). He CAN arrest you even if he is wrong - the "arrest" is a road-side decision made by the cop, the prosecutor later decides whether the arrest merits a prosecution case against you. You will get your day in court and win - but it will also cost you your burn and lots of money. It is a very fine line - your best bet is to follow every driving law perfectly and not give an LEO an excuse to pull you over. If you do get pulled over, follow the instructions about "interactions with law enforcement" on the BM webpage.
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Re: BLM Officer Car and Personal Searches: how to respond?

Postby BBadger » Mon Aug 22, 2011 6:28 pm

Yup, be nice, but don't waive your rights. "Officer, I respectfully refuse to have my car/belongings searched." Don't count on it, but some officers may even be nice enough to let you go if there is really no problem. It's like being nice to secretaries: they can make your life living hell if they want to.

Oh yeah, and don't talk. Anything you say can and will be used against you, and never for you.
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Re: BLM Officer Car and Personal Searches: how to respond?

Postby JStep » Mon Aug 22, 2011 8:27 pm

Great replies. I have never had a "bad" encounter with an LEO (as an adult anyway) and a huge part of that is attitude. Be friendly, say yes sir and no sir. Don't argue about anything, don't contradict or try to talk your way out of anything. It's really very simple, the hard part is to avoid getting into conversations. Nothing says you have to respond or answer *any* questions other than your name, address, etc which you can head off by providing your ID. If your address on your ID is out of date (they usually ask "Is this your current address?") give your current address. Watch the Flex Your Rights videos.... Be polite, don't talk, don't answer any questions...

Q: "So, where are you headed?"

A: "I'm on vacation. How can I help?"

Q: "Mind if I take a look in your vehicle?"

A: "I'm sorry, I can't consent to any search."

Q: "What are you hiding? Why can't I look in the car/bag/backpack?"

A: "I'm sorry, I can't consent to any search. How can I help?"

Again, be polite, respectful and look them in the eye but don't get lured into conversations. The Flex Your Rights videos do a great job of showing how *anything* you say can be used against you. Don't answer questions and don't volunteer any information. Don't argue, don't get confrontational, don't refute or try to defend yourself. If they threaten to, or start to, issue you a ticket, just say "Yes sir." It will suck if you have to endure an illegal search or the guy gets pissed and detains you for a long time, but it will pay off in the long run to not try to mitigate the damage by giving up a "little bit" of information or censent to a search. Once you have consented to a roadside search law enforcement is allowed to literally destroy your vehicle looking for what they claim to suspect you have and are under no obligation to put anything back together or put your belongings back in the vehicle.

Smile, be polite, friendly, and don't talk.
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Re: BLM Officer Car and Personal Searches: how to respond?

Postby BBadger » Mon Aug 22, 2011 8:55 pm

It bears repeating, and a video: don't talk to cops (part 1, part 2).
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Re: BLM Officer Car and Personal Searches: how to respond?

Postby FIGJAM » Mon Aug 22, 2011 9:25 pm

I carry these to hand to LEO's with my ID, registration, and insurance.

http://www.natvan.com/leaflets/rights.pdf
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Re: BLM Officer Car and Personal Searches: how to respond?

Postby watsonic » Mon Aug 22, 2011 9:27 pm

A Jester wrote:If a BLM officer asked to search my bag, I'd politely ask them what would happen if I refused.


Just as a data point, I have a friend who was stopped by BLM on the way into BRC about 6 years ago. The officer stopped him going 10 in a 5 (for real!) and asked if there was anything in the car he should know about. He told the guy if he searched his car and found any illegal substances he would be kicked out of the event for the duration of the event. Not wanting to go all the way home after driving all the way out and preparing for weeks, the guy gave the cop a dime bag of weed that was in the center compartment of the vehicle. He was handed a $500 ticket and allowed on his way.

This is a hard situation. If you say "what if I refuse?" and they say "if I find anything I will eject you from this event", its hard to know whether they WILL search you and then do that or not. Any advice on this front?

A Jester wrote:Then, I'd head over to the nearest Ranger station and fill out a Law Enforcement Feedback Form.


Are these stations in consistent locations every year? Where?
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Re: BLM Officer Car and Personal Searches: how to respond?

Postby Eric » Mon Aug 22, 2011 9:50 pm

watsonic wrote:The officer stopped him going 10 in a 5 (for real!) and asked if there was anything in the car he should know about. He told the guy if he searched his car and found any illegal substances he would be kicked out of the event for the duration of the event. Not wanting to go all the way home after driving all the way out and preparing for weeks, the guy gave the cop a dime bag of weed that was in the center compartment of the vehicle. He was handed a $500 ticket and allowed on his way.



Never speak to the police, never answer their questions. Watch the video links BBadger posted above, see the pdf link above as well. Your friend confessed to a crime when he didn't have to (don't forget Nevada has incredibly strong anti-drug laws). He could have gone to jail instead of the event.
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Re: BLM Officer Car and Personal Searches: how to respond?

Postby Savannah » Mon Aug 22, 2011 9:58 pm

Are these stations in consistent locations every year? Where?

Ranger Stations are located at . . .

Center Camp
9:00 & C - Ranger Station Tokyo
3:00 & C - Ranger Station Berlin

Good to know for many a reason. :) They do many things:

http://rangers.burningman.com/wordpress/?page_id=2
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Re: BLM Officer Car and Personal Searches: how to respond?

Postby BBadger » Mon Aug 22, 2011 10:23 pm

watsonic wrote:This is a hard situation. If you say "what if I refuse?" and they say "if I find anything I will eject you from this event", its hard to know whether they WILL search you and then do that or not. Any advice on this front?


You've already failed the test. Do not pass GO. Do not collect $200.

Don't ask the officer the consequences of refusal. They will be what they are. While you are obligated to tell the truth (**see footnote), an officer is not obligated, under any circumstances, to tell the truth. He can tell you that you'll be tried for treason, or evicted, or you'll be shot on sight. It doesn't matter.

The correct answer to this is: "I respectfully refuse to allow you to search my belongings."

That is it. Nothing else. No questions for the officer. Do not give any other responses. Do not be intimidated by the officer. Know your rights.

Another data point to remember that is covered in the video:

If you are taken into custody, and especially if you and your friends are taken into custody, do not, I repeat, DO NOT, under ANY circumstances, say anything to the cops besides the bare minimum, being your name and registration IDs that are required for identification. Tell your friends to do the same. Your alibis are silence.

Why? Because nothing you say can, or ever will be used to help your case. Furthermore, the very fact that the stories your friends and you have will be different even on minor details will incriminate you. In fact, a cop with a bad memory could twist your story against you if you say anything. The cop in the second part of the video says this explicitly.

So everybody shut the fuck up. Silence can't contradict silence.

Do not trust any promises made by the cops. Do not respond to their questions. Do not believe that one is your friends. The more you say, the more they'll worm more out of you.

The founding fathers are protecting your ass. They were great men, and great seers for a reason. It's now up to you to be responsible.

Keep your yap shut, and everything will be fine, or at least no worse than it otherwise could be.

** Note: while obligated to tell the truth in matters such as your name, and providing your registration papers, you are not obligated to speak at all.
Last edited by BBadger on Tue Aug 23, 2011 11:11 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: BLM Officer Car and Personal Searches: how to respond?

Postby watsonic » Mon Aug 22, 2011 10:31 pm

Eric wrote:Never speak to the police, never answer their questions. Watch the video links BBadger posted above, see the pdf link above as well. Your friend confessed to a crime when he didn't have to (don't forget Nevada has incredibly strong anti-drug laws). He could have gone to jail instead of the event.


To be fair, this could have ended much worse. BLM could have searched the car because they smelled something, writing the ticket, possibly ejecting my friend from the event and sending him to jail. How is *that* for a year at BMan?? From one point of view he got a deal. What I don't know much about is what constitutes reasonable suspicion.

In the FYR videos in the "right way" takes, the cops ask the kids to step out of the vehicle (which they did to my friend too) and they comply. Ok so I assume one has to comply with a request to "step out of the vehicle". At that point any faint smells could possibly be detected. If a faint smell is detected (and how am I to guess how sensitive a LEO's nose is?) the LEO has reasonable suspicion. Or maybe he doesn't even need that. Maybe he thinks you look cracked out. Maybe he thinks you're talking strangely. What is reasonable suspicion?
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Re: BLM Officer Car and Personal Searches: how to respond?

Postby essjay » Mon Aug 22, 2011 10:34 pm

BBadger wrote:

Why? Because nothing you say can, or ever will be used to help your case. Furthermore, the very fact that the stories your friends and you have will be different even on minor details will incriminate you. In fact, a cop with a bad memory could twist your story against you if you say anything. The cop in the second part of the video says this explicitly.

So everybody shut the fuck up. Silence can't contradict silence.

Do not trust any promises made by the cops. Do not respond to their questions. Do not believe that one is your friends. The more you say, the more they'll worm more out of you.


100% true. No matter how smart you are, you are not talking your way out of a situation - you are talking your way into one. Be quiet.
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Re: BLM Officer Car and Personal Searches: how to respond?

Postby BBadger » Mon Aug 22, 2011 10:57 pm

watsonic wrote:To be fair, this could have ended much worse. BLM could have searched the car because they smelled something, writing the ticket, possibly ejecting my friend from the event and sending him to jail. How is *that* for a year at BMan?? From one point of view he got a deal. What I don't know much about is what constitutes reasonable suspicion.


No, not even this. By allowing the officer free reign of your vehicle and belongings, you've guaranteed that you'll be cited. You've essentially allowed the fox into the chicken coop. You've given him reason and ability to be suspicious.

When you tell the officer you refuse to allow him to search your vehicle, you've made a statement that he must verifiably justify searching a vehicle without a court order. That requires paperwork, a call into the station, etc. for a stop that is not a "heat of the moment" deal. Unless a cloud of pot smoke bellowed out of the window when you rolled it down, the officer will have a hard time justifying a search, especially if you're being polite and giving no reasonable reason to have your belonging searched.

Don't be an easy mark.

In the FYR videos in the "right way" takes, the cops ask the kids to step out of the vehicle (which they did to my friend too) and they comply. Ok so I assume one has to comply with a request to "step out of the vehicle".


Sure, cooperate with the officer to that extent, so that you give no reason to escalate the matter.

At that point any faint smells could possibly be detected. If a faint smell is detected (and how am I to guess how sensitive a LEO's nose is?) the LEO has reasonable suspicion. Or maybe he doesn't even need that. Maybe he thinks you look cracked out. Maybe he thinks you're talking strangely. What is reasonable suspicion?


IT DOESN'T MATTER. If they're suspicious, they're suspicious. What does that change? Nothing. That is absolutely no reason to allow a cop to search your shit. What exactly do you think you'll gain by allowing a search? Betting on "leniency" by a crooked cop?

Did you know that these kinds of thoughts running through peoples' heads is exactly what the cops want you to think? They want you to voluntarily give up your rights so they don't need to go through the hassle of justifying their decisions--decisions which can be easily thrown out of court. When you consent to a search, you have effectively allowed the cop free reign, and doomed yourself to the consequences. No part of a searching decision will improve your standing in a court of law nor in the eyes of an officer.

No reason, in any context whatsoever, to agree to a search.

Keep your yap shut. Do not consent to searches. Know your constitutionally protected rights. They are the highest law of the land.
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Re: BLM Officer Car and Personal Searches: how to respond?

Postby watsonic » Tue Aug 23, 2011 12:22 am

BBadger wrote:Unless a cloud of pot smoke bellowed out of the window when you rolled it down, the officer will have a hard time justifying a search, especially if you're being polite and giving no reasonable reason to have your belonging searched.


But who is there to justify the search to? Lets suppose someone does have something in the car and the cop decides there is reasonable suspicion and finds something. Do you really think it would hold up in court to say "but he didn't have reasonable suspicion!" It's not like the cop has to use some device to collect data and prove it. He just says "yep i smelled it and i found it." Case closed.

If you're saying he has to provide some hard evidence, I'd like to know what it is.

BBadger wrote:
What is reasonable suspicion?


IT DOESN'T MATTER. If they're suspicious, they're suspicious. What does that change? Nothing.


Unless I'm mistaken, this matters very much and changes everything. RS allows an officer to defy your wish for him not to search, right? If there is "reasonable suspicion" there will be a search whether you consent or not and the officer may later cite this RS as cause to search (at which point we're left with the situation above). Please correct me if this is wrong, but I've always understood this to be the case.
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Re: BLM Officer Car and Personal Searches: how to respond?

Postby BBadger » Tue Aug 23, 2011 1:12 am

watsonic wrote:But who is there to justify the search to? Lets suppose someone does have something in the car and the cop decides there is reasonable suspicion and finds something. Do you really think it would hold up in court to say "but he didn't have reasonable suspicion!" It's not like the cop has to use some device to collect data and prove it. He just says "yep i smelled it and i found it." Case closed.

...

Unless I'm mistaken, this matters very much and changes everything. RS allows an officer to defy your wish for him not to search, right? If there is "reasonable suspicion" there will be a search whether you consent or not and the officer may later cite this RS as cause to search (at which point we're left with the situation above). Please correct me if this is wrong, but I've always understood this to be the case.


I'm not sure what you're really getting at here, or what you're trying to argue for. Are you saying that it is somehow better or acceptable to voluntarily waive your rights because of some preconceived inevitability? That somehow waiving your rights will result in a more lenient punishment (hint: that's what torturing interrogators promise), or reduce the level of suspicion? Nothing is further from the truth. There is no acceptable reason, whatsoever, for waiving your rights.
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Re: BLM Officer Car and Personal Searches: how to respond?

Postby Sham » Tue Aug 23, 2011 1:32 am

The first thing I do is try to set the ground rules by firmly telling the officer that, "as a tax payer, I pay your salary", and "technically you work for me". I try to keep an attitude in my voice and may also use the line, "you don't know who I am, do you?" or "you don't know who you're messing with". There are a lot of other great lines to use. "My uncle is a judge", "I know my rights". "I've been through these searches many times before and I know you can't do that". "I have a team of lawyers who can get any charges dropped". "I want to see your superior".

These always work for me and I try to make it appear that hassling me will always be more trouble than it's worth.

The above is a joke. I feel some crazy obligation to say this. Listen to everyone else, not me in dealing with law enforcement. My advice will get you beaten with night sticks, tossed in the back of the police car, and fined more than you want.

I have already heard from friends on their way that burner looking vehicles are being eyed very carefully. This event has become a cash cow for these law enforcement agencies. The large fines that are given, make these guys heroes within their departments. Try not to get stopped.
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Re: BLM Officer Car and Personal Searches: how to respond?

Postby watsonic » Tue Aug 23, 2011 2:30 am

BBadger wrote:I'm not sure what you're really getting at here, or what you're trying to argue for. Are you saying that it is somehow better or acceptable to voluntarily waive your rights because of some preconceived inevitability? That somehow waiving your rights will result in a more lenient punishment (hint: that's what torturing interrogators promise), or reduce the level of suspicion? Nothing is further from the truth. There is no acceptable reason, whatsoever, for waiving your rights.


I want to understand this situation as well as possible because it happens to people I know and love and we all want to see the best outcome.

From everything I've read its not clear to me that situations (involving clear reasonable suspicion) don't arise in which a roadside plea deal doesn't lead to a better outcome. If this is true, I want to understand that game and the optimal decisions to make.

Clearly the best thing to do *right now* is to spread awareness of the fact that one should never leave themselves in a state where reasonable suspicion can be obtained. Then the answer is obvious: don't waive search refusal rights upon questioning.

But inevitably someone I care about will find themselves in a situation where there *is* RS. And then what?
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Re: BLM Officer Car and Personal Searches: how to respond?

Postby jobi » Tue Aug 23, 2011 4:09 am

watsonic wrote:
But inevitably someone I care about will find themselves in a situation where there *is* RS. And then what?


Hopefully we all be wise enough to never arouse a reasonable suspicion. But you are right, this is inevitable. When the inevitable happens, you still need to politely refuse consent and keep your mouth shut. Since there is reasonable suspicion, it's not going to be your day. You will likely be searched, arrested, ticketed, and/or given a court date. You've done your best (or worst) and now it is your lawyers turn. If you have a good lawyer and the right circumstances your lawyer may be able to get things thrown out as an unlawful search but only if you did not give consent.

If you are caught red-handed, then you are caught, but still follow the same procedure. Use your brain to avoid arousing reasonable suspicion. Don't keep shit in plain view, don't blaze in the car, and remember that vacuum sealers are your friend.
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Re: BLM Officer Car and Personal Searches: how to respond?

Postby Lassen Forge » Tue Aug 23, 2011 5:40 am

Shambala wrote:
I have already heard from friends on their way that burner looking vehicles are being eyed very carefully. This event has become a cash cow for these law enforcement agencies. The large fines that are given, make these guys heroes within their departments. Try not to get stopped.


Careers are made - and broken - for cops during the event. Of course, having an UC cop who I met 2 days before (on duty) ask me if I had any "smoke"... Told him I new where to get some coke... back in the cooler, red cans on the door. ;) Didn't see him after that.

BTW - I have NO problem talking to a cops supervisor, if the cop is being particularly dickish. Having been married to a cop in my past, you get a sense of what kind of BS they're likely to pull.

OTOH... if it is a "big bust" (like, you did admit, like an idiot, to a search, or left your stash where it could be seen from outside the vehicle, or gave the cop some reason to have RS and he tossed your car, and they found something like dope or ???) his boss will likely be there anyway, to make sure the Chain of Custody isn't broken, their cop-knots are all tied, etc.

The big thing is this. ACT LIKE AN ADULT. Don't open your mouth. If you get written up, be polite, professional, and adult until you're both on the road going separate ways... just because they wrote a ticket doesn't mean the investigation is over. No way.

And oh yeah - just because a cop pulls you over doesn't mean he's all up your ass and in your face - he could want to let you know your bike is about to fall off your car. BTDT!

Then again... I get pulled over, I'll have my L, R, &I out, and hand them to him without asking. The less said... the better.



BBadger wrote: There is no acceptable reason, whatsoever, for waiving your rights.


+, oh, about 10,000. You HAVE rights to protect your ass. You give them up - ever - you're asking to be fracked. And giving up the dime bag in his console - just gave cop about 100,000x the probable cause he needed to (a) totally toss the car, (b) Take said idjit to Lovelock, and (c) nit pick to build as much as he can.

Know what I say? "Um... no you can't search my car. No way. May I have my License, Registration, and Insurance card back?"
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Re: BLM Officer Car and Personal Searches: how to respond?

Postby junglesmacks » Tue Aug 23, 2011 6:49 am

You know the most surefire way to avoid all of this trouble? Works EVERY time for me!


Don't possess things you shouldn't when you leave camp. Period.


Camp is never that far away should you need to come back and re-charge in a couple of hours or so. When I leave camp, I'm sparkling clean.. and having that knowledge and clear conscience with me while I journey allows me to feel that much freer of any worries or cares in the world...


:idea:




Do whatcha like.. just saying what works for me :D
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Re: BLM Officer Car and Personal Searches: how to respond?

Postby Trishntek » Tue Aug 23, 2011 7:02 am

Keep it simple,,,, just do not break the law or give LEO any reason to give you a second glance. On 447, we keep the speed at 50-55. No booze, no smoke,,,,,

Once on the playa, it is like any other city in the USA as-far-as laws are concerned. Keep controlled substances on the down low and your mouth under the influence of your brain. If there is no reasonable cause, there is no need to enjoy their company. Your property is still private even on public land. As stated above much better than I can express, keep your mouth shut, your emotions in check and don't be an idiot.

Like I've heard so many times before, "You will remember the ticketing officer for a very long time, he will forget about you as soon as the next stop." They are just doing their job. Most of them just want things to go smoothly. But it is their job to be suspicious!
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Re: BLM Officer Car and Personal Searches: how to respond?

Postby JStep » Tue Aug 23, 2011 9:18 am

BBadger wrote:It bears repeating, and a video: don't talk to cops (part 1, part 2).


Watch these, then watch them again. One particularly helpful bit, easily missed cause the guy talks at like 120 words per minute, is the fact that it is not just words of wisdom when we say "Anything you say can be used against you, do not try to talk your way out of something, it CAN NOT HELP YOU AT ALL."... This isn't just advice, *it is the law*. You can tell the officer a truth, one that completely exculpates you from guilt, he can repeat in in court to the judge and jury, and it will be tossed out as hearsay upon objection from the prosecution. The police officer is literally forbidden and unable to assist you in your defense, it's not his job and even if he wants to he cannot do or say anything to help your case. DO NOT TALK TO THE POLICE, IT CANNOT HELP YOU!
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Re: BLM Officer Car and Personal Searches: how to respond?

Postby junglesmacks » Tue Aug 23, 2011 9:38 am

You know.. this is kinda of unrelated but not.


Say I get pulled over and I've had a few drinks.. like more in general life. Cop walks up to the window and asks.. "So, you been drinking?"

If I say no, then I've just provided false information yet I've admitted nothing and not given probable cause as long as I'm acting sober.

If I say yes, then I've admitted guilt yet told the truth.

If I say nothing, then it seems that I'm admitting guilt or pushing him to progress.


How to handle?
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Re: BLM Officer Car and Personal Searches: how to respond?

Postby JStep » Tue Aug 23, 2011 9:52 am

junglesmacks wrote:You know.. this is kinda of unrelated but not.


Say I get pulled over and I've had a few drinks.. like more in general life. Cop walks up to the window and asks.. "So, you been drinking?"

If I say no, then I've just provided false information yet I've admitted nothing and not given probable cause as long as I'm acting sober.

If I say yes, then I've admitted guilt yet told the truth.

If I say nothing, then it seems that I'm admitting guilt or pushing him to progress.


How to handle?


Say nothing. You're not obligated to answer any questions, you're not obligated to respond verbally in any way whatsoever. You only need to lower your window enough to pass your DL, registration and insurance card to him. Keep your hands on the wheel, vehicle in park and mouth closed. If he asks you to get out, turn off the car and lock it as you exit the car, place your keys in your pocket and remain silent.

In reality if he asked if I'd been drinking I might utter one word like "soda", because it's an answer and I like to be polite, but it would be unwise of me to say anything, just being realistic. It doesn't matter what your answer is, if the cop is going to do you a solid and park your car for you and give you a ticket for something other than DUI (like unreasonable speed) and call you a cab, he will probably do that for you anyway unless you're a dick. (This happened to me about 10 years ago.) On the other hand if he's on a mission to pull in DUI/DWI offenders (under orders or just cause he wants to) he's going to do that regardless of your answer. Either way, your answer cannot help you.
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Re: BLM Officer Car and Personal Searches: how to respond?

Postby junglesmacks » Tue Aug 23, 2011 10:00 am

Very true.. I temporarily forgot about the "don't lie but don't tell the truth" trick. Saying "soda" isn't a lie.. he just asked if I was drinking.. he didn't specify what kind of beverage.

It's true that with my own experience, how the situation will be handled is determined within the first few seconds of contact with the officer. If you are kind, respectful and carry with you a vibe of cooperation (without admission).. then most likely it can be handled in an amicable manner. MOST of the time.

I'm sure that most of us here have been stopped by an LEO while operating something mechanical and intoxicated at the same time, and both parties knew the truth and yet both walked away from the situation. Count your blessings, and for godsakes.. just don't be a dick about it. More than likely you'll be just fine.
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Re: BLM Officer Car and Personal Searches: how to respond?

Postby JStep » Tue Aug 23, 2011 11:21 am

You know who could really get screwed in these situations? People with tourettes!
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Re: BLM Officer Car and Personal Searches: how to respond?

Postby A Jester » Tue Aug 23, 2011 12:51 pm

junglesmacks wrote:
I'm sure that most of us here have been stopped by an LEO while operating something mechanical and intoxicated at the same time, and both parties knew the truth and yet both walked away from the situation. .


I hope not. I hope most of us don't drink and drive (or whatever and drive) to begin with. I find life a lot easier if I just don't go around breaking the law - especially by driving under the influence. I'd have a lot less compassion for someone driving drunk at or to the event than I would for someone who just sparked up in their tent.

I'd still give you all the helpful advice I could, but I wouldn't think that highly of you.

step one:
Don't drive drunk, don't have your illegal items on your dashboard
step two:
Don't give up your rights
step three:
?????
step four:
Profit (and happy burn)
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Re: BLM Officer Car and Personal Searches: how to respond?

Postby BBadger » Tue Aug 23, 2011 12:56 pm

junglesmacks wrote:If I say nothing, then it seems that I'm admitting guilt or pushing him to progress.


That's the big problem: there is this perception that silence implies guilt or hiding something. People feel that they need to defend themselves, when the best defense is to let the rights do their job for you and stay silent. Yes, it is hard to stay silent, especially to what seem like benign questions ("where are you heading?"). If you must, use a flat, generic reply ("we're just traveling, sir") and stick to it. Repeat if necessary.

Also don't show animosity towards the cops either. Stay respectful, and act as if the cop is trying to help you, not cause you problems. Maybe he's just pulling you over to tell you that your tail light is out. Still, don't get friendly, it's all about business. Thank him for his help so that the incident is over and you can be on your way.

If you receive a ticket, take it and be done with it. Don't apologize for anything; that admits guilt. You can resolve these problems later, in a court of law, not on the side of the road with the judge being the officer. The road is the last place you want "justice."

Oh yeah, and tell the rest of the people in the car to shut the hell up too. They are not to add anything to the conversation, but rather sit as silent witnesses.
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