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Thread: Knowing The Facts

  1. #1
    Campaign Veteran
    Join Date
    Jun 2008
    Battle Creek, Michigan, USA

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    I know that very few of us are attorneys, lawyers, etc.

    Since we don't deal with the law on a first hand, daily basis (the LEO types here excluded), we should all take the time to learn a few things that are key to ensuring that our interactions with over-zealous law enforcement turn out the way they should, be it on the street, or later, in the the court.

    First, one should know the basis on which a law enforcement officer can stop you. A detention by an officer must have reasonable suspicion that you are committing, or about to commit, a crime.

    The founding case law is Terry v. Ohio. A overview, containing very important points, is found at:

    One should read and understand the point contained within, so that you will know how far an officer has a right to question you in a Terry stop, and how long he may detain you.

    An additional resource regard the permissibility of a stop is:

    Second, you should be fully versed in your state's laws on handgun possession. You should have the Code Section number memorized. Most all officers carry a law book with them, in pocket form or in a squad car.

    Lastly, you should demand that they treat you in a courteous and civil manner. Be aware that most "man with gun" calls they receive are not the law-abiding citizen type, so expect them to be approaching you with caution. However, don't forget, and politely remind them, that in the end, they are public servants, not public masters. They work for you.

    Remember: Knowledge is power. It can make your day a lot easier. Stay calm, stay polite, and just remember that in the end, you will prevail.

  2. #2
    Regular Member
    Join Date
    Jun 2007
    Catasauqua, Pennsylvania, USA

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    Also add in there how much information one is required to provide for identification. AFAIK, in most states one does not need to provide a driver's license unless one is driving a car.

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