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Thread: Arrested for Carrying Prohibited Weapoin in Prohibited Place

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    This happened a couple years ago, but I still thought some of you might find it interesting. I was 24 years old at the time, when a Pct. 4 Harris County Constable pulled over my friend who was driving a 1998 Chevy 3500 crew cab truck. I was sitting in the back of the crew cab with another one of my friends riding "shotgun".

    My friend pulled over on Mills Road in Northwest Houston into a elementary or middle school parking lot because it was the first place to pull over, as the road really doesn't have a shoulder there and is only two lanes wide. So the officer asks everyone in the truck to give him their ID's. I of course carrying my Glock 23C, gave him my DL and CHL.

    He then asked me to step out of the truck and place my hands on the top of the bed of the truck while he disarmed me. I quickly and polietly cooperated.

    He then ran all of our records to make sure we had no warrents. Well when he came back, he asked if he could search the vehicle. My friend, the owner and driver, agreed as we had nothing to hide. The officer found a empty "Spec's" liquor store paper bag in the truck. He started asking if we had been drinking and we all told him no. The bag was from a day or two ago when we had gone to a bonfire party in Tomball, Tx.

    He didn't believe us, and then seperated us asking us questions individually and trying to get one of us to admit we had been drinking. After about 15 minutes of this and getting no where, he finally came back to me, and told me to put my hands behind my back. I did as he told me, but asked "what is the problem". He told me I was being arrested for "carrying a prohibited weapon in a prohibited place". Meaning he was arresting me for carrying a firearm on school grounds.

    I quickly reminded him that he pulled us over, causing us to pull into the the parking lot, which we didn't even realize was a school because it was the side/back area, and it was 9pm at night, with school not even in session. Plus furthermore, I was not in control of the truck to even choose if I was going to go in there or not. Then on top of that, I told him that I would never intenionally break the law, as I had just graduated from H.C.C. Police Academy and passed my TCLEOSE test to be certified to be a Texas Peace Officer. I also informed him that according to the Texas Penal Code, I AM allowed to carry it in a school parking lot, just not in the building. There is a seperate law for CHL holders, which has different rules.

    He did not care about any of that. Two other officers that were there even pleaded with the guy that I was in the process of trying to get on with a local police department and that him charging me with a 3rd degree felony charge would hinder my future ability to be a police officer. He did not care and turned a deaf ear to the other officers requests to re-evaluate the situation.

    So I was processed into Cypresswood substation and awaited to be transferred to downtown Harris County jail. This took about 16 hours. Then once I was processed in there, it took about another 24 hours for me to have my bail set at $5,000. I made bail and as soon as I got home, got out my Texas penal code book from the police academy. I found Texas P.C. 46.035 which refers to CHL holders and it says "school grounds does NOT apply to a driveway, walkway, parking lot, or parking garage. It DOES apply to a building or portion of a building such as portable buildings or evesments.

    I highlighted the part about it not applying to parking lots, and took it with me to my first day in court. I tried to show it to the assistant district attorney who was trying to prosecute me and she told me "I graduated from law school, I think I know the law, thanks", with out even looking at the penal code book I was holding in front of her. So finally the judge asked me why I didn't have a attorney and I explained because I didn't need one and this was all a misunderstanding. He then advised me to be quite, and was going to reset the first day for a week later so I could get a attorney for this serous charge. I then stepped in and told him I have the right then to represent myself. He then tried to warn me again about how serious this was, in which I replied "can you please just read this ONE sentence and explain this to me".

    He agreed to read it and after reading it, looked at the front cover of the book. He asked the assistant district attorney if she has a 2006 copy of the Texas Penal Code, as mine was 2 years old. He checked to make sure that the law had not been revised in the last two years, and then asked the assistant district attorney if she had even read the current charge, and looked up and read it. She started stuttering and walked over and read it. He then said he wanted to speak with her in his chambers and called a 10 minute rescess. When he came back out, he dismissed my case.

    It took me a YEAR to get back my Glock, which has been taken for evidence. I called and had to talk to probably 15 different people and harass the hell out of them for a year to finally get my Glock back.

    I now have to get the charge expunged off my record in order to become a police officer, as I was not even allowed to go on a ride along I was suppose to take for one of my Criminal Justice classes.

    Overall, this cost me about $1,600 dollars, 2 days in jail and a dozen annoying visits down town.

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    Damn... Glad your case was dismissed, but this was a seriously messed up situation. You REALLY should have filed a false arrest lawsuit, as the city/county would have probably settled immediately. Is there a statute of limitations on filing?

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    I think this is fantastic lawsuit material. I truly hope you've looked into it.

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    That sucks man. Yeah, the sad thing is most cops are ignorant about the laws. Well, I can't really blame them. You have people that "went to law school" who don't even fully understand the law and that is their job EVERY day. But yeah, it shouldn't have ever happened in the first place. It's too bad you didn't sue the hell out of them and forced them to expunge it from your record.

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    I have talked to a few different attorneys and none of them wanted to touch it. They said it is hard as hell to get them to admit any wrong, and you always end up having to take it to a higher court to get any money. They said its like trying harris county in their own court system. Not much is gonna happen until you take it outside their jurisdiction, at least thats what they all told me. What is funny though, is all of them agreed that them not giving me my pistol back immediatly, was a violation of 2nd admendment rights. So if I could sue, it would be a civil rights violation case, which usually brings big dollar amounts. I still don't understand why most attorneys don't want to take on Harris County. Oh well.

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    It's the David v. Goliath syndrome. How do you challenge the people that make the rules? Not to mention attornies can make a lot of money by having friends within the local governments and you don't really want to piss them off. Now, can you file a law suit in another jurisdiction? I don't see why you couldn't do that. If nothing else I'd sue for the 2nd amendment violation.

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    Regular Member rodbender's Avatar
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    Blinn, check out this post and tellyour buddy"Never let a cop search your vehicle". It seems that you should have known that havingjust graduated cop school. I think 2 years is limits on law suits in Texas, federal may be different. Check into it.

    http://opencarry.mywowbb.com/forum65/15121.html
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    Campaign Veteran Dutch Uncle's Avatar
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    I am convinced that when some cops get angry or frustrated, they choose to be real pr**ks and arrest you on a bogus charge, knowing full well that even if you win, you lose....in this case a lot of money, time and even reputation.

    If the gun confiscation is truly a civil rights case, and the statute of limitation hasn't run out, couldn't this be taken to federal district court? That would keep it out of the jurisdiction of the original court

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    Dutch Uncle wrote:
    I am convinced that when some cops get angry or frustrated, they choose to be real pr**ks and arrest you on a bogus charge, knowing full well that even if you win, you lose....in this case a lot of money, time and even reputation.

    If the gun confiscation is truly a civil rights case, and the statute of limitation hasn't run out, couldn't this be taken to federal district court? That would keep it out of the jurisdiction of the original court
    +1...Federal Court

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    1983. Federal Court. No immunity for the cops, also sue Harris County for the DA's malfeasance. I think you have a substantial case as you suffered extensive real damages to your chosen career. Call the TX Bar Assc and they will advise you of lawyers who will take the case. Good luck, but the statute of limitations may have expired. If not, pursue it.
    "For any man who sheds his blood with me this day shall be my brother...And gentlemen now abed shall think themselves accursed, they were not here, and hold their manhoods cheap whilst any speaks who fought with us on Crispin's day." Henry V

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    Rodbender, I knew better then to allow him to search the vehicle, but unfortunetly he asked my friend and before I could even say anything, he said yes. If it would have been my vehicle, I would have told him no. My instructor in the academy, a retired HPD officer, even told me to never cooperate with a officer as long as you are not breaking the law. He told all of us that they are not your friends, no matter what comes out of their mouth and are only there to collect any evidence against you to prosecute you... why help them out?

    Gunslinger, thank you for that information, I will try giving them a call. Someone told me that there is a 2 year limitation but I will check into it either way.

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    Blinn79 wrote:
    Rodbender, I knew better then to allow him to search the vehicle, but unfortunetly he asked my friend and before I could even say anything, he said yes. If it would have been my vehicle, I would have told him no. My instructor in the academy, a retired HPD officer, even told me to never cooperate with a officer as long as you are not breaking the law.
    Your instructor was correct. So why did you cooperate by handing over your DL and CHL? You were under no obligation to give him your DL, so you didn't need to give him your CHL either.


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    KBCraig wrote:
    Blinn79 wrote:
    Rodbender, I knew better then to allow him to search the vehicle, but unfortunetly he asked my friend and before I could even say anything, he said yes. If it would have been my vehicle, I would have told him no. My instructor in the academy, a retired HPD officer, even told me to never cooperate with a officer as long as you are not breaking the law.
    Your instructor was correct. So why did you cooperate by handing over your DL and CHL? You were under no obligation to give him your DL, so you didn't need to give him your CHL either.
    He's not?

    http://www.txdps.state.tx.us/adminis...l/txchlaws.htm

    GC §411.205.




    DISPLAYING LICENSE; PENALTY.




    (a)If a license holder is carrying a handgun on or about the license holder's person when a magistrate or a peace officer demands that the license holder display identification, the license holder shall display both the license holder's driver's license or identification certificate issued by the department and the license holder's handgun license. A person who fails or refuses to display the license and identification as required by this subsection is subject to suspension of the person's license as provided by Section 411.187.




    (b)A person commits an offense if the person fails or refuses to display the license and identification as required by Subsection (a) after previously having had the person's license suspended for a violation of that subsection. An offense under this subsection is a Class B misdemeanor.



    The thing about common sense is....it ain't too common.
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    Rodbender is correct. By law, I have to give him my CHL when carrying a pistol. Now had I not been carrying my pistol, I would probably have opted otherwise.

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    Blinn79 wrote:
    Rodbender is correct. By law, I have to give him my CHL when carrying a pistol. Now had I not been carrying my pistol, I would probably have opted otherwise.
    You must present your CHL when you present your identification while carrying. But as a passenger in a motor vehicle that was stopped, not being the subject of an investigation, you are under no obligation to identify yourself in any way.



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    Regular Member rodbender's Avatar
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    KBCraig wrote:
    You must present your CHL when you present your identification while carrying. But as a passenger in a motor vehicle that was stopped, not being the subject of an investigation, you are under no obligation to identify yourself in any way.
    Can you cite, please. I can't find it.
    The thing about common sense is....it ain't too common.
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    Texas Statutes, Government Code Sec. 411.205. DISPLAYING LICENSE; PENALTY.

    (a) If a license holder is carrying a handgun on or about the license holder's person when a magistrate or a peace officer demands that the license holder display identification, the license holder shall display both the license holder's driver's license or identification certificate issued by the department and the license holder's handgun license. A person who fails or refuses to display the license and identification as required by this subsection is subject to suspension of the person's license as provided by Section 41 1.1 87.

    (b) A person commits an offense if the person fails or refuses to display the license and identification as required by Subsection (a) after previously having had the person's license suspended for a violation of that subsection. An offense under this subsection is a Class B misdemeanor.


    It's pretty clear. If you have a CHL and you are carrying and an officer ask to see your license and CHL you've gotta show it.

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    Regular Member rodbender's Avatar
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    I hope he can read it now.

    http://www.txdps.state.tx.us/adminis...l/txchlaws.htm

    GC §411.205.





    DISPLAYING LICENSE; PENALTY.






    (a)If a license holder is carrying a handgun on or about the license holder's person when a magistrate or a peace officer demands that the license holder display identification, the license holder shall display both the license holder's driver's license or identification certificate issued by the department and the license holder's handgun license. A person who fails or refuses to display the license and identification as required by this subsection is subject to suspension of the person's license as provided by Section 411.187.






    (b)A person commits an offense if the person fails or refuses to display the license and identification as required by Subsection (a) after previously having had the person's license suspended for a violation of that subsection. An offense under this subsection is a Class B misdemeanor.
    The thing about common sense is....it ain't too common.
    Will Rogers

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    I think the confusion is that there is no requirement for the passenger to ID himself normally. TX law states that if a person is being questioned under "reasonable suspicion" he must not provide a false name. He may say nothing as well. If being arrested, he must give correct information.



    The problem here though is that the person is a CHL holder who was carrying at the time. The CHL law specifically requires him to provide ID and CHL if requested by an officer as has been shown a few times in this thread. If he wasn't carrying, he was under no obligation to even give a name. Of course officer friendly still would have found any poor excuse to make an arrest though. Such as failure to ID - even though that would be equally ignorant!



    It is hard to fight city hall as they say, but these types of officers and departments need to be taught a lesson.Please try to do so if at ALL possible.

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    Hmmm, if I understand this correctly, you can also add libel/slander/defemation of character to the list of things you can sue the officer for because he has inhibited your ability to operate within your chosen profession because of a false arrest.

    On a side note, you should ALWAYS take an attorney with you when you go to court. Simply because they have a JD and will get a lot more respect than a citizen will representing himself. I'm not saying that is the way it should be but it is the way it as. Plus, you could have had your attorney send a Writ of Mandamus compelling the police department to return your confiscated firearm, which they could either do or be in contempt of a Federal Court which is an entirely different matter.

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    You should watch the flex your rights videos and "don't talk to cops" series so you aren't so silly next time.

    Additionally, 1983 suits have an amazing ability to make people perk up and start doing things correctly. Put them on the defensive and put their money at risk and you'd be amazed at what happens.

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    There are a few civil rights Attorneys that will take on municipalities and prosecutors and the like. I know of one in San Antonio/Austin area and I remember a big billboard on I-10 headed East towards Houston that advertises one in Houston! I think it would definitely be an avenue to pursue, however, if you still have the desire to become an officer, suing them might hurt your chances politically... Tough choice that you have! Best of luck with it!

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