1 2
alex
alex UltraDork
3/15/12 5:03 p.m.

I had the unexpected opportunity to exercise my 4th Amendment rights last week, thought I'd share the story.

I got pulled over by the highway patrol for expired plates (way expired - I barely drive and STLPD has bigger fish to fry - basically, I'm a worthless scofflaw) on I-44 which is a major drug artery in the Midwest. By this point I know the traffic stop drill pretty well, so it's engine off, keys on dashboard, hands on the wheel. The Trooper is respectful, bordering on courteous - a bit rare, since they tend be be hard-asses - and I'm respectful right back.

Now, when he lit me up he was too close to me, and since I don't have a line of sight out of the center rearview mirror in my truck thanks to the utility cap, it took me a few extra seconds to see him in my sideview and signal my intent to pull over. And when I made it to the shoulder, we were on the outside of a curve, so I proceeded a ways to a straight section where I thought we'd be more visible to traffic. He told me that sort of thing makes him nervous, since it gives me time to stash drugs or stash/ready a weapon. I assured him it was no such thing, and let him know my reasoning, which he seemed to be surprisingly appreciative of.

After a brief conversation about my plates and several questions about my possession of drugs or weapons (beat up old truck going the speed limit, utility cap with no windows, expired plates, bearded young-ish looking guy in ratty work clothes - I understand his curiosity) he said, "How would you feel about me taking a look in your vehicle?"

To which I replied, "Honestly, officer, I'd rather you didn't."

"Why's that?"

"Because I believe I have the 4th Amendment on my side here."

After a brief pause, he said, "Well, okay. I'm going to go back to the car, see if there are any K9s in the area. But if nobody's close by, I'll let you go on; I don't want to hold you up too much today."

At this point, I should interject: my father is a criminal defense and civil rights attorney. His work has given him a bit of an anti-cop bias, because he only sees the cases where they berkeley up and do his clients harm. He's always told me, in this situation, that if they bring out the K9, the K9 is going to "find" something, whether or not there's anything to find. All it takes is a signal from the dog, prompted by either a legitimate scent or a cue from their handler (and there are no universally prescribed signals) to establish probable cause. And if they're going to the trouble of physically searching your vehicle, they're going to "find" something themselves.

So, I'm calmly sweating bullets while the trooper's in his car. What's done is done, and hell, I have the day off - why not go to jail to stand up for my rights? I legitimately don't have anything to hide in this case, so let's just see what happens now.

The trooper comes back to the window, hands me my license and insurance information, and begins explaining the details of the citation. Not a word was said about the search or the K9. We exchanged pleasantries and I was on my way.

So, sometimes exercising your rights is as easy as exhibiting that you're aware of them.

mad_machine
mad_machine MegaDork
3/15/12 5:25 p.m.

when you do it in a pleasant and courtious way.. you usually get to exercice your rights. Good job

jrw1621
jrw1621 PowerDork
3/15/12 5:45 p.m.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yqMjMPlXzdA&feature=related
45 minutes of pretty well presented material. A little hokey but the overall message is good.

914Driver
914Driver MegaDork
3/15/12 6:06 p.m.

Nope, never been arrested.

I have however, been detained for my personal safety.

stuart in mn
stuart in mn UberDork
3/15/12 6:23 p.m.

Maybe you'll get your license plates renewed now.

gamby
gamby PowerDork
3/15/12 6:56 p.m.
alex wrote: He's always told me, in this situation, that if they bring out the K9, the K9 is going to "find" something, whether or not there's anything to find. All it takes is a signal from the dog, prompted by either a legitimate scent or a cue from their handler (and there are no universally prescribed signals) to establish probable cause. And if they're going to the trouble of physically searching your vehicle, they're going to "find" something themselves.

That's genuinely scary.

Jay-Z said it similarly:

"Do you mind if I look round the car a little bit?" Well my glove compartment is locked so is the trunk and the back And I know my rights so you gon' need a warrant for that "Aren't you sharp as a tack are some type of lawyer or something?" "Or somebody important or something?" Nah I ain't pass the bar but I know a little bit Enough that you won't illegally search my E36 M3 "Well see how smart you are when the K-9's come"

fast_eddie_72
fast_eddie_72 SuperDork
3/15/12 7:54 p.m.
jrw1621 wrote: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yqMjMPlXzdA&feature=related 45 minutes of pretty well presented material. A little hokey but the overall message is good.

I didn't take 30 minutes to watch the video about that guy in Africa, but I took 45 to watch this. Good stuff. I have an irrational fear that I'm going to get arrested for something I didn't do. Not sure why. But this is good info.

When I was a kid in my old '74 Capri 2000, I got pulled over once. I was going about 80 in a 55. He pulled me over and said "you know how fast you were going?" Not knowing what to say, I just said "No". He looked at me for a minute and said "Neither do I, but it was pretty fast. Slow it down" and let me go on my way.

novaderrik
novaderrik SuperDork
3/15/12 7:54 p.m.

i once had a cop totally clean out the back seat of my car after he harassed me for 5 minutes to get me to let him search my car during a traffic stop where he pulled me over for no reason.. he just threw all the empty Pepsi bottles and Deli Express sandwich and burrito wrappers all over the street. then when he got done not finding anything, he told me to have a nice day and started to walk back to his car.. i asked him if he was going to pick up all the crap he had just thrown all over the road or if he would rather give me his ticket book so i could write him a littering ticket.. he just got in his car and drove off.. the group of teenagers that had gathered to watch the show was pretty amused..

jrw1621
jrw1621 PowerDork
3/15/12 8:38 p.m.
fast_eddie_72 wrote:
jrw1621 wrote: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yqMjMPlXzdA&feature=related 45 minutes of pretty well presented material. A little hokey but the overall message is good.

I didn't take 30 minutes to watch the video about that guy in Africa, but I took 45 to watch this. Good stuff. I have an irrational fear that I'm going to get arrested for something I didn't do. Not sure why. But this is good info.

When I was a kid in my old '74 Capri 2000, I got pulled over once. I was going about 80 in a 55. He pulled me over and said "you know how fast you were going?" Not knowing what to say, I just said "No". He looked at me for a minute and said "Neither do I, but it was pretty fast. Slow it down" and let me go on my way.

If you like that, take the time to watch/listen to this one as well.
Dont Talk to the Police: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6wXkI4t7nuc

Cole_Trickle
Cole_Trickle Reader
3/15/12 8:39 p.m.

Nice. I had a really dirty car that was half torn apart inside (yet the parts were all there) tell me that they couldnt pay him to search my car. I guess a little fast food trash/ loose speaker wires made him scared.

93EXCivic
93EXCivic UltimaDork
3/15/12 9:00 p.m.
gamby wrote: Jay-Z said it similarly: "Do you mind if I look round the car a little bit?" Well my glove compartment is locked so is the trunk and the back And I know my rights so you gon' need a warrant for that "Aren't you sharp as a tack are some type of lawyer or something?" "Or somebody important or something?" Nah I ain't pass the bar but I know a little bit Enough that you won't illegally search my E36 M3 "Well see how smart you are when the K-9's come"

I got 99 problems but a bitch ain't one.

poopshovel
poopshovel PowerDork
3/15/12 9:13 p.m.

Couple questions:

1: Why the berkeley were you sweating bullets and thinking about jail?

2: Why the berkeley would you drive around with expired tags? You know you're BEGGING to get popped, right?

  1. (Not a question, but just from personal experience:) Attorneydaddy or not. A simple "Yep, I mind. I've got places to be and money to make" seems to go over a little better than the whole "I KNOW MY RIGHTS!!!" deal.
poopshovel
poopshovel PowerDork
3/15/12 9:14 p.m.

SON, WHY ARE THE NUMBERS IN YOUR LIST ALL berkeleyED UP!?!?

novaderrik
novaderrik SuperDork
3/15/12 9:30 p.m.
poopshovel wrote: Couple questions: 1: Why the berkeley were you sweating bullets and thinking about jail? 2: Why the berkeley would you drive around with expired tags? You know you're BEGGING to get popped, right? 3. (Not a question, but just from personal experience:) Attorneydaddy or not. A simple "Yep, I mind. I've got places to be and money to make" seems to go over a little better than the whole "I KNOW MY RIGHTS!!!" deal.

yeah, you are considered a domestic terrorist with something to hide if you insist on pointing out your rights..

N Sperlo
N Sperlo UltraDork
3/15/12 9:32 p.m.
poopshovel wrote: 2: Why the berkeley would you drive around with expired tags? You know you're BEGGING to get popped, right?

In the city you wont. I'm being totally cereal.

fast_eddie_72
fast_eddie_72 SuperDork
3/15/12 9:42 p.m.
poopshovel wrote: 3. (Not a question, but just from personal experience:) Attorneydaddy or not. A simple "Yep, I mind. I've got places to be and money to make" seems to go over a little better than the whole "I KNOW MY RIGHTS!!!" deal.

Not sure what post you're responding to, but the video that was posted says exactly the same thing. Always be polite and never talk back.

alex
alex UltraDork
3/15/12 9:52 p.m.

Sweating bullets because if the dog comes out, chances are, they're going to 'find' something that's not there, and I'm spending at least a little time in the hoosegow.

Driving on old plates out of sheer laziness. Like I said, I drive like 6 miles a day and the city cops aren't worried about white guys and traffic violations. My mistake was going out to the county, where they actually don't have much better to do.

And yes, I'm getting the plates sorted out.

novaderrik
novaderrik SuperDork
3/15/12 9:55 p.m.
fast_eddie_72 wrote:
poopshovel wrote: 3. (Not a question, but just from personal experience:) Attorneydaddy or not. A simple "Yep, I mind. I've got places to be and money to make" seems to go over a little better than the whole "I KNOW MY RIGHTS!!!" deal.

Not sure what post you're responding to, but the video that was posted says exactly the same thing. Always be polite and never talk back.

my attitude towards the public servant that pulls me over is a direct reflection of the attitude of said public servant.. if he's got an attitude, then by dog he's getting an attitude from me.. i pay his wage and i own the car he's driving and that gun strapped to his belt, so i'm gonna treat him however he deserves to be treated.. i've never been hauled away because of my "bad attitude" or had anything planted in my car yet, and they generally realize that it's more of a pain to give me some stupid BS ticket than it's worth..

it has been my experience that young cops tend to think they have to prove themselves and have the biggest chips on their shoulders, so they are the most fun to antagonize. older cops tend to be more laid back when you do something silly like a 100 foot long burnout in a white Caprice 9C1 right in front of them at 3am..

93EXCivic
93EXCivic UltimaDork
3/15/12 10:03 p.m.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uj0mtxXEGE8

NSFW

poopshovel
poopshovel PowerDork
3/15/12 10:12 p.m.
jrw1621 wrote:
fast_eddie_72 wrote:
jrw1621 wrote: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yqMjMPlXzdA&feature=related 45 minutes of pretty well presented material. A little hokey but the overall message is good.

I didn't take 30 minutes to watch the video about that guy in Africa, but I took 45 to watch this. Good stuff. I have an irrational fear that I'm going to get arrested for something I didn't do. Not sure why. But this is good info.

When I was a kid in my old '74 Capri 2000, I got pulled over once. I was going about 80 in a 55. He pulled me over and said "you know how fast you were going?" Not knowing what to say, I just said "No". He looked at me for a minute and said "Neither do I, but it was pretty fast. Slow it down" and let me go on my way.

If you like that, take the time to watch/listen to this one as well.
Dont Talk to the Police: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6wXkI4t7nuc

That_was_awesome. Thanks very much man. I have a "not quite ten" 'top ten' videos. That is now solidly in the top five.

Knurled
Knurled Dork
3/15/12 10:20 p.m.

http://drmcninja.com/archives/comic/15p3/

jrw1621
jrw1621 PowerDork
3/15/12 10:38 p.m.

In reply to poopshovel
Yes, a good one.
What I find funny is now having seen this, when I watch a typical TV show like a "Law and Order" type show, I find myself telling the characters of the show to just stop talking. Sure, it would make for a less interesting show but it would be damn helpful to the character.

poopshovel
poopshovel PowerDork
3/15/12 10:50 p.m.
jrw1621 wrote: In reply to poopshovel Yes, a good one. What I find funny is now having seen this, when I watch a typical TV show like a "Law and Order" type show, I find myself telling the characters of the show to just stop talking. Sure, it would make for a less interesting show but it would be damn helpful to the character.

God bless the interwebz. I learned the hard way. Now I watch COPS and say "What the berkeley are you thinking???" But like Ron White (cousin Ron, as we call him) says: "I had the RIGHT to remain silent. What I did not have was the ability."

Toyman01
Toyman01 UberDork
3/15/12 10:56 p.m.
poopshovel wrote:
jrw1621 wrote:
fast_eddie_72 wrote:
jrw1621 wrote: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yqMjMPlXzdA&feature=related 45 minutes of pretty well presented material. A little hokey but the overall message is good.

I didn't take 30 minutes to watch the video about that guy in Africa, but I took 45 to watch this. Good stuff. I have an irrational fear that I'm going to get arrested for something I didn't do. Not sure why. But this is good info.

When I was a kid in my old '74 Capri 2000, I got pulled over once. I was going about 80 in a 55. He pulled me over and said "you know how fast you were going?" Not knowing what to say, I just said "No". He looked at me for a minute and said "Neither do I, but it was pretty fast. Slow it down" and let me go on my way.

If you like that, take the time to watch/listen to this one as well.
Dont Talk to the Police: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6wXkI4t7nuc

That_was_awesome. Thanks very much man. I have a "not quite ten" 'top ten' videos. That is now solidly in the top five.

Big +1 to that. Thanks.

curtis73
curtis73 SuperDork
3/15/12 11:47 p.m.

I used to be of the "disclose everything" mentality so they're not surprised, but the past decade I've been a lot more discerning.

It all started with:

I was a freshman in college. I had gone and gotten wasted at a frat party while my roomie stayed behind to study for a test. I thought it would be nice to bring him something to drink from the party, so I filled a plastic cup with whiskey. On the walk across the parking lot (literally, like 100 yards) I saw a campus police car down the street. I sat down on the curb and lit a smoke setting the whiskey a couple feet away. The cruiser turned and didn't seem to give me any thought.

I made it to the door of the dorms. As I was walking in, a town cop was walking out. He asked me what was in the cup. I thought, "if I dump it, there is nothing in the cup." I tossed the mystery liquid over my right shoulder, but something didn't sound right. It didn't sound like liquid hitting the sidewalk. I turned around to find that I had just dumped 8oz of whiskey on his partner who had come up behind me.

Long story short, I got a $1 fine with $65 of fees. Turns out they have to test the liquid for the case to be ironclad, and the test costs more than the fine.

1 2
Our Preferred Partners
KNG4dUTky9SwOj2yRFWbxdRpTmNWJkI09kHQ4ZVJbUeYsyzx46ifwELS9o5GWfQ8