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Thread: Unreasonable search and siezure after work!

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    Exclamation Unreasonable search and siezure after work!

    Hey NVoC'ers,

    Question for you regarding an experience my coworker just had. He was on his way home from work at around 3am in the golden valley area and was stopped by LEOs for expired registration. Upon confrontation with the officer he rightfully informed the officer that he was carrying a loaded, concealed weapon on his person. The officer then asked him to get out of the vehicle. Right there alarms go off in my head. The story goes that he was detained, his vehicle and person were searched, his weapons were both confiscated, unloaded, and checked, and the process took quite a while. He was interrogated briefly on the side of the road as well. All of this happened after my friend furnished his identification and concealed carry permit. He was extremely polite and cooperative. When asked why he was searched the officers said that around that time of night in that area they get a lot of crazies.

    Now for the questions.

    Could he have refused to exit the vehicle?
    Did the officers have probable cause to warrant the searches and seizures?
    What should/could he have done differently to uphold his rights as a citizen?

    General feedback? After hearing this story I am kind of concerned for my safety and rights when dealing with northern Nevada LEO's.

  2. #2
    Regular Member Fallschirmjäger's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Swankaj View Post
    Could he have refused to exit the vehicle?
    Did the officers have probable cause to warrant the searches and seizures?
    What should/could he have done differently to uphold his rights as a citizen?
    No, refusing to leave your vehicle (or remaining in once ordered) is not a good thing.
    No, without a belief for being "armed And dangerous" however some jurisdictions equate being armed with being dangerous.
    If Nevada isn't a "Must Inform" state then don't; it's that simple. Remember the old adage, anything you say can and will be held against you; the best option is not to say anything until it becomes necessary.
    Last edited by Fallschirmjäger; 02-06-2014 at 06:31 PM.

  3. #3
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    He should have locked his car when he got out and declined to consent to a search of the vehicle without a warrant.

    mbogo

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    Campaign Veteran MAC702's Avatar
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    There is no duty to inform an officer that you are armed. Now, that said, if the vehicle is registered to the driver, they can run the plate to determine who the registered owner is, and then run that name on a second search that will tell them if that registered owner has a concealed weapons permit. So, even if you do not inform, they may ask. If they ask, you can not lie, and refusing to answer will not likely help.

    No search of the vehicle should have been allowed, however. It is likely that they asked, and he gave permission, trying to be the nice guy with "nothing to hide." They count on that. Remember that something doesn't have to be illegal for it to be done of their damn business. It is possible to be very respectful and decline permission for them to search. This is what NEEDS to happen to reign in the permissiveness that cops have gotten used to. I would say something to the effect that I have too much respect for the law to allow searches without a warrant signed by a judge. How can they argue with that?

    They currently (in Nevada) have the authority to disarm you during a routine traffic stop. But that is all. They do not have the authority to search your vehicle and remove firearms from it unless you waive your rights.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Swankaj View Post
    Hey NVoC'ers,

    Question for you regarding an experience my coworker just had. He was on his way home from work at around 3am in the golden valley area and was stopped by LEOs for expired registration. Upon confrontation with the officer he rightfully informed the officer that he was carrying a loaded, concealed weapon on his person. The officer then asked him to get out of the vehicle. Right there alarms go off in my head. The story goes that he was detained, his vehicle and person were searched, his weapons were both confiscated, unloaded, and checked, and the process took quite a while. He was interrogated briefly on the side of the road as well. All of this happened after my friend furnished his identification and concealed carry permit. He was extremely polite and cooperative. When asked why he was searched the officers said that around that time of night in that area they get a lot of crazies.

    Now for the questions.

    Could he have refused to exit the vehicle?
    Did the officers have probable cause to warrant the searches and seizures?
    What should/could he have done differently to uphold his rights as a citizen?

    General feedback? After hearing this story I am kind of concerned for my safety and rights when dealing with northern Nevada LEO's.
    Could he refuse to leave his vehicle? A US Supreme Court case, PA vs Mimms, says police may remove a person from a vehicle during a traffic stop for (paraphrase) any reason or no reason. The court left it totally at the officer's discretion, categorizing it as officer safety.

    Did the officers have probable cause to warrant the searches and seizures? No probable cause needed. The same case, PA vs Mimms, says a cop can search the driver (and maybe any occupant--I don't recall) for weapon for officer safety if the officer reasonably believes that person might be armed. While Mimms did not address the interior of the vehicle, there is another case that does (Michigan vs Long?). Courts will almost always defer to a cop's judgement when it comes to a weapons search for officer safety. Its not hard to believe a court would side with a cop to go from a weapon on the person to suspecting a another undisclosed weapon somewhere in the car. Personally, I think such would be a power-grabbing distortion by both cop and court. But, its not like the courts have done all that much to protect citizens on this subject. So, while I know of no case that expressly authorizes a cop to search the entire interior of a car when a person courteously notifies the cop out of misplaced friendliness, I got five dollars that says the courts will side with the cop.

    What should he have done differently? If Nevada is not a must-inform state, then next time: don't inform. Not all cops will go overboard, but since you often can't tell the good cops from the bad until its too late, and, since the good cops won't rein in the bad ones, a citizen has to do what a citizen has to do.

    Always refuse consent to searches. Even if you aren't asked permission. If a cop starts searching without your permission, even if he didn't ask, you can still politely, verbally, refuse consent. "Officer, I do not consent to this search." Its not much, but if you can get it on dash-cam, it strengthens your case. At the least, the cop will not be able to later claim you consented to the search.

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    It would appear there are many that believe more legal is better. As said not required to inform. There have been many postings of informing when not required and it ends up opening a large bucket of worms. The cop is busy processing why he made the stop and making ever-changing decisions based on his reaction with the person. Don’t muck up his train of thought by lambasting him with I got a gun. If you have an anti gun cop gives him a chance to ramp up the intimidation. If he is a pro gun cop maybe no problems however why give him something else to have to process.

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    Q: Could he have refused to exit the vehicle?
    A: Sure, but then he would likely be violating the law - interfering or some other such law

    Q: Did the officers have probable cause to warrant the searches and seizures?
    A: He can search the driver only so far as to insure his safety (no papers etc). Car? Likely not...he did lock it after he exited the vehicle? No, a rookie mistake. If locked and cop demanded keys, I'd tell 'em to drop dead. I've even tossed my keys into a ditch ... cop's don't like that but if they want to make a fuss, I love fusses.

    Q: What should/could he have done differently to uphold his rights as a citizen?
    A: Learn more -- if he's carrying he should have already known what to do. And grow a pair.

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    Regular Member OC for ME's Avatar
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    Was the incident recorded by your coworker? if not, next time he should. The likelihood of gaining redress is just about zero. request dash-cam footage via a records request.

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    Was the registration actually expired or did he forget to put the sticker on? If it's actually expired, the car could've been seized/towed, so a search of it was probably likely to happen anyway. I betcha the cop was thinking "3am, expired plates, this crack head is up to no good." The search could've been coming before your friend chose to disclose his carry status, we'll never truly know if the cop reacted this way because of the CCW or if the cop already wanted to do all this upon signaling for the stop. Someone smarter than me tell me if I'm wrong, because I'm under the impression an expired registration is equal to a non-registration, and opens the vehicle for search and seizure (although yes, commonly an expired registration will get you a warning if everything else checks out)

    Kinda hard to claim you're in the right on a valid stop. I'm sure the cop disarmed him using the "asking" methods they're all taught: "Is it okay if I just take this gun off your hip right here? Great thanks." without waiting for a real reply. Or the person stopped might've failed to realize he could refuse and simply went with it.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Swankaj View Post
    Upon confrontation with the officer he rightfully informed the officer that he was carrying a loaded, concealed weapon on his person.
    Well I guess by now you've figured out why a lot of us consider informing "wrongful" not "righful."

    He was interrogated briefly on the side of the road as well.
    Interrogated meaning they asked questions and he answered instead of using his right to remain silent?
    Last edited by Yard Sale; 02-07-2014 at 03:55 PM.

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    Due to my activism in the Motorcycle arena, I have been pulled over a lot. I have NEVER regretted not informing. Everyone needs to respond in the way they see fit, My standard answer to "Do you have a gun?" Is I have no Duty to inform. If in a car, that is a ticket out of the car, That is not necessarily bad. On the bike it changed little.

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    Quote Originally Posted by DON`T TREAD ON ME View Post
    Due to my activism in the Motorcycle arena, I have been pulled over a lot. I have NEVER regretted not informing. Everyone needs to respond in the way they see fit, My standard answer to "Do you have a gun?" Is I have no Duty to inform. If in a car, that is a ticket out of the car, That is not necessarily bad. On the bike it changed little.
    I like your non-informing answer of "I have no Duty to inform"--- I plan on using it myself!
    RIGHTS don't exist without RESPONSIBILITY!
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    Quote Originally Posted by JoeSparky View Post
    I like your non-informing answer of "I have no Duty to inform"--- I plan on using it myself!
    Correct me if I'm wrong, but I thought if asked we have to give an answer. A straight answer. We just don't have to say anything if we are not asked. If you're asked if you're carrying and you say "I have no duty to inform" the cop will likely roll his eyes and say "so yeah, you're carrying. thanks. I'm gonna need you to put your hands over your head and tell me where your weapon is so I can disarm you." Either that or meet your resistance with his own brand of "get bent." Plus isn't saying something like that the same thing as non-compliance? If I'm right and the law reads that if asked you must tell, then saying something irrelevant would be like not saying anything at all. Which in this case is the wrong thing to do... not that I don't believe my right to remain silent supersedes this. Which I would say it totally does. Am I making any sense? It's super late and I'm tired.

    Long story short, if we are asked if we are carrying don't we have to say either "yes" or "no" in this state? Assuming we have a valid CCW permit? Laws are different for non permit holders.

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    Officer: "Sir, do you have any guns or drugs on you?"
    Me: "Officer, I am not carrying anything that I am not supposed to have, and I do not consent to a search of my person or property. Am I free to go?"
    Officer: "No, your tags are expired."
    Me: "I am very sorry about that. I renewed online and forgot to pick up my stickers. I'll wait right here while you complete your citation, if you are so inclined."

    I would rather pay 1,000 tickets before giving up my Constitutional rights.
    Last edited by Boomboy007; 02-14-2014 at 06:33 AM.
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    Regular Member sudden valley gunner's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Boomboy007 View Post
    Officer: "Sir, do you have any guns or drugs on you?"
    Me: "Officer, I am not carrying anything that I am not supposed to have, and I do not consent to a search of my person or property. Am I free to go?"
    Officer: "No, your tags are expired."
    Me: "I am very sorry about that. I renewed online and forgot to pick up my stickers. I'll wait right here while you complete your citation, if you are so inclined."

    I would rather pay 1,000 tickets before giving up my Constitutional rights.

    +1
    I am not anti Cop I am just pro Citizen.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Swankaj View Post
    Correct me if I'm wrong, but I thought if asked we have to give an answer. A straight answer. We just don't have to say anything if we are not asked. If you're asked if you're carrying and you say "I have no duty to inform" the cop will likely roll his eyes and say "so yeah, you're carrying. thanks. I'm gonna need you to put your hands over your head and tell me where your weapon is so I can disarm you." Either that or meet your resistance with his own brand of "get bent." Plus isn't saying something like that the same thing as non-compliance? If I'm right and the law reads that if asked you must tell, then saying something irrelevant would be like not saying anything at all. Which in this case is the wrong thing to do... not that I don't believe my right to remain silent supersedes this. Which I would say it totally does. Am I making any sense? It's super late and I'm tired.

    Long story short, if we are asked if we are carrying don't we have to say either "yes" or "no" in this state? Assuming we have a valid CCW permit? Laws are different for non permit holders.
    What law says you have to answer a question posed to you by a cop where you know you are not in violation of the law.

    Silence is very effective in dissuading overly inquisitive cops. Follow the law and record the encounter.

    Cop: Sir, I need to see your ID.
    Me: Do you mind if I light up a smoke?
    Cop: '?'

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    You can't lie to LEO, but you are not required to answer questions, directly or indirectly, excepting your name and general place of abode under some circumstances......believe that is after dark - per User.

    Am I free to go?

    If not, I will answer any questions through my attorney.

    Silence sends a very loud clear message.
    You will not rise to the occasion; you will fall back on your level of training.” Archilochus, 650 BC

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    Curious as to how often being a pain in the ass is beneficial in these situations.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Limedust View Post
    Curious as to how often being a pain in the ass is beneficial in these situations.
    Ask the cops and their apologists, it's their SOP modus operandi.
    I am responsible for my writing, not your understanding of it.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Limedust View Post
    Curious as to how often being a pain in the ass is beneficial in these situations.
    What kind of benefit do you believe you get by being compliant because of the "I have nothing to hide" or the "let me just get out of here" attitude?

    Think bigger picture.

    Unless you are one of those who want their rights but not enough to actually work for it as long as you are not bothered?
    Last edited by Bernymac; 02-21-2014 at 10:11 AM.

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    During one traffic stop where I got a ticket the cop asked "where you coming from?" I said none of your business.

    I was speeding but he gave me a ticket for violating the speed limit sign (why? I dunno)

    During trial ('cause I never just pay tickets) I asked the cop where I entered the highway. He could not answer.

    I asked where was the nearest entry onto the highway. He answered that correctly.

    The I asked him if there was a sign between the entryway to the highway and where he observed me not following the law. He could not answer that but said "there are plenty of signs on the road up a piece" or something similar.

    Guess who won the case?

    Now when he pulled me over and asked the "where you coming from?" question he did not yet write the ticket and I thought he would give me a speeding ticket, not a sign violation ticket. But if I would have answered his question then my victory would not have been so slam-dunk and may have to rely on an affirmative defense (one I did not need to bring up since I motioned for acquittal after the state rested and I won then); I got the cert. of cal. of the LIDAR unit tossed and the judge mentioned that as a reason as well but the judge was very hard on the prosecutor for bring a case where the state could not even prove that I passed any sign.

    So one never knows what question and answer could be significant at trial. I always refuse to answer probative questions (which are almost every question).
    Last edited by davidmcbeth; 02-21-2014 at 10:37 AM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by davidmcbeth View Post
    [ ... ] I always refuse to answer probative questions (which are almost every question).
    Wrong word. Probative means proving or persuading rather than probing.

    Yess! Another interwebz error corrected.
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    Regular Member HPmatt's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bernymac View Post
    What kind of benefit do you believe you get by being compliant because of the "I have nothing to hide" or the "let me just get out of here" attitude?

    Think bigger picture.

    Unless you are one of those who want their rights but not enough to actually work for it as long as you are not bothered?
    +1
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    Quote Originally Posted by HPmatt View Post
    +1
    I don't know; I haven't had any run-ins with the police.

    Anyhow, to answer your other ostensible question . . . I'm utilitarian about most things, including exercising or thinking I'm exercising my rights. I imagine I'd weigh wasting my time by behaving petulantly to prove a point to myself versus the benefit of not doing so and choose accordingly.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Limedust View Post
    I don't know; I haven't had any run-ins with the police.

    Anyhow, to answer your other ostensible question . . . I'm utilitarian about most things, including exercising or thinking I'm exercising my rights. I imagine I'd weigh wasting my time by behaving petulantly to prove a point to myself versus the benefit of not doing so and choose accordingly.
    Why do you automatically equate the exercising of rights with petulance and proving a point?

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