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Thread: "... am I being detained?"

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    "... am I being detained?"

    All too often I see "How to Talk to Cops" videos and articles, and inevitably someone states that if a cop decides to question you, your only response should be to say "am I free to go? or am I being detained?" The way the videos are structured, that question seems to deflect the LEOs. Yet so far, I've never seen a single video or article where it tells a person the proper response to a cop who says, "Yes I AM detaining you".

    You guys see what I'm saying, right? This question is posed as some kind of LEO Kryptonite, like merely waving it around causes them to lose their superpowers. At some point a cop is going to say "OK wiseass, I've seen all the same videos your amateur internet lawyers put out there, so YES, I'm detaining you. Now what? Oh, you have no idea what to say now, right?" And then you get tackled and tased by six 250lb thugs who "feared for their lives", and you end up charged with resisting arrest and six counts of battery on police officers.

    As far as I'm concerned, I think these videos are way off, at least on that one little ridiculous statement. Unfortunately its become something of a mantra in the past couple of years. Its even popping up in articles on Lew Rockwell's site, which is kind of discouraging since his columnists tend to be substantially smarter than a lot of people I've met.

    So, does someone here feel like filling in the blanks on this one?

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    Easy, if he/she says you are being detained, ask on what grounds you are being detained.

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    Regular Member HandyHamlet's Avatar
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    I think you are missing the point. (understatement)




    The phrase is not a string of garlic that magically wards off the police.

    If you are not detained then walk away.

    If you are detained you don't and should not have to say anything at all. That's kind of the whole point. Not to mention it is your right under the Constitution. It is that simple. Never talk to the police. Keep your recorder going though!





    Hope you have a good fireproof suit.
    Last edited by HandyHamlet; 09-13-2011 at 02:21 AM.
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    Regular Member 1245A Defender's Avatar
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    Oh! WoooWoooy!!!!!! you the troll???!!!

    Quote Originally Posted by Talon View Post
    All too often I see "How to Talk to Cops" videos and articles, and inevitably someone states that if a cop decides to question you, your only response should be to say "am I free to go? or am I being detained?" The way the videos are structured, that question seems to deflect the LEOs. Yet so far, I've never seen a single video or article where it tells a person the proper response to a cop who says, "Yes I AM detaining you".

    You guys see what I'm saying, right? This question is posed as some kind of LEO Kryptonite, like merely waving it around causes them to lose their superpowers. At some point a cop is going to say "OK wiseass, I've seen all the same videos your amateur internet lawyers put out there, so YES, I'm detaining you. Now what? Oh, you have no idea what to say now, right?" And then you get tackled and tased by six 250lb thugs who "feared for their lives", and you end up charged with resisting arrest and six counts of battery on police officers.

    As far as I'm concerned, I think these videos are way off, at least on that one little ridiculous statement. Unfortunately its become something of a mantra in the past couple of years. Its even popping up in articles on Lew Rockwell's site, which is kind of discouraging since his columnists tend to be substantially smarter than a lot of people I've met.

    So, does someone here feel like filling in the blanks on this one?

    Go away!!!!!

    what a real troll!!!!
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    Regular Member GuidoZ's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by 1245A Defender View Post
    Go away!!!!!

    what a real troll!!!!
    I believe it's an honest question, not a troll attempt. I'm sure we can treat each other with respect when someone is merely asking questions.

    That said, the answer has already been posed. If the answer is "YES YOU ARE", then find out under what grounds, then ****. Pure and simple. Recording the whole thing is highly encouraged, as now you have you asking politely if you're being detained, the officer stating "Yes, because..." and you keeping quiet by choice. Anything else WILL be used against you in a court of law.

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  6. #6
    Regular Member Badger Johnson's Avatar
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    As others have said, it's a specific question and requires you do several things:
    1. Record the conversation;
    2. Call your lawyer (when allowed to use the phone);
    3. Ask "WHY am I being detained; what is your SAF/RAS for detaining me";
    4. Remain calm and ask for instructions - 'may I sit down; may I use my phone; may I get my papers from the glove';
    5. State that you do not give permission to search (or remove your possessions) but that you will not resist any such attempts;
    6. Declare if you're carrying if in a must declare state;
    7. Have your paperwork (such as your VCDL trifold and other 'I'm legal' documents) handy;
    8. Get names of the officers, car numbers (say them aloud for your recorder);
    9. If possible begin video recording;
    10. Move slowly and carefully and don't say anything beyond what you must say.

    Just some thoughts on the topic...
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    Me: "Am I under arrest? Are you serving a warrant?"
    Thug: "No."
    Me: "I want to leave."
    Thug: "You are not free to leave."

    The purpose of engaging in such conversation is to record that you are being detained without your consent.

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    Don't ask if you are being detained. If you have to ask, you ARE being detained.

    Citizen: "WHY am I being detained?"

    LE option A: "You aren't"

    Citizen response: "Then our contact is over" [goes on with what was happening prior to contact]

    LE option B: "I need to ask you what you are doing." [or anything else that isn't "You aren't"]

    Citizen response: "If necessary, I will be available for questioning WITH a lawyer present." [proceeds to shut mouth except for verbal identification IF required by statute]


    If citizen response to LE option A is anything beyond "okay, have a nice day", proceed to citizen response to LE option B.


    Um, lemme try that one again...


    If LE responds to the citizen response to LE option A with anything substantive beyond "okay, have a nice day," proceed to citizen response to LE option B. I think.....
    Last edited by wrightme; 09-14-2011 at 03:56 PM.
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  9. #9
    Regular Member Baked on Grease's Avatar
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    I think Badger hit hit, let me TLDR it for you...

    Cop - "Yes, you ARE being detained."

    Me - "Then you can speak to my lawyer."



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  10. #10
    Campaign Veteran since9's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Talon View Post
    Yet so far, I've never seen a single video or article where it tells a person the proper response to a cop who says, "Yes I AM detaining you".
    Me: "Ok."

    Cop: "You want to answer my questions?"

    Me: "I have to right to remain silent."

    Cop: "Answer my question! What were..."

    Me: "I have the right to an attorney and will say nothing further until I speak with him."

    At that point, you don't have to say SQUAT (except for providing any information as may be required by state law).

    ...you get tackled and tased by six 250lb thugs who "feared for their lives", and you end up charged with resisting arrest and six counts of battery on police officers.
    Sounds like "I beat the snot out of his fist with my face."

    So, does someone here feel like filling in the blanks on this one?
    Sure. Even though you don't have to say anything (except information as required by state law, if any), you can still ask him all the questions you want, including:

    1. Am I being charged?

    2. What's the charge?

    3. Am I under arrest?

    4. Am I free to go?

    5. Am I being detained?

    6. Why am I being detained?

    Talon, are you looking for a decision tree? Something along the lines of a flow matrix? What are you looking for? Why are looking for it?

    Are we free to go?
    Last edited by since9; 09-16-2011 at 07:05 AM.
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  11. #11
    Campaign Veteran skidmark's Avatar
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    Asking if you are being detained is a method of determining what your course of action should be regarding interaction with the police. The problem with asking the question is that it plants a suggestion in the mind of the police officer that s/he could in fact detain you.

    Telling the police officer that you are terminating your contact with them and walking away forces them to decide what they can do about your action. You have stated (and captured on the recorder you are carrying/using) that you do not wish to speak with them and that you are leaving. The cop now must decide if they have a reason to detain you, determine specifically what that reason might be, and then tell you that you are being detained.

    SCOTUS has recently decided (sorry, I can't recall the case name) that you cannot invoke your Miranda/Edwards rights simply by exercising them (not saying anything). Per their decision, you must state that you are invoking your right to remain silent and that you will not answer any questions until after consulting with an attorney. That's a lot to remember, especially when saying "I want to talk to an attorney" may no longer be considered the same as "I'm not going to answer any questions until I consult with an attorney" as the way to force the cops to stop custodial interrogation.

    It is truely sad that law-abiding citizens need to know the minutia of the law in order to survive contact with the police with their rights intact.

    stay safe.
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    Regular Member William Fisher's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Badger Johnson View Post
    As others have said, it's a specific question and requires you do several things:
    1. Record the conversation;
    2. Call your lawyer (when allowed to use the phone);
    3. Ask "WHY am I being detained; what is your SAF/RAS for detaining me";
    4. Remain calm and ask for instructions - 'may I sit down; may I use my phone; may I get my papers from the glove';
    5. State that you do not give permission to search (or remove your possessions) but that you will not resist any such attempts;
    6. Declare if you're carrying if in a must declare state;
    7. Have your paperwork (such as your VCDL trifold and other 'I'm legal' documents) handy;
    8. Get names of the officers, car numbers (say them aloud for your recorder);
    9. If possible begin video recording;
    10. Move slowly and carefully and don't say anything beyond what you must say.

    Just some thoughts on the topic...
    When I'm driving I keep my DL, Registration and proof of Insurance in an envelope and attatched to the sun visor so I can simply take it down and have it ready when they come to my window. I don't have my CCP yet but when I get it, it will also go in the envelope when I drive.

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    Regular Member Deanimator's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Talon View Post
    All too often I see "How to Talk to Cops" videos and articles, and inevitably someone states that if a cop decides to question you, your only response should be to say "am I free to go? or am I being detained?" The way the videos are structured, that question seems to deflect the LEOs. Yet so far, I've never seen a single video or article where it tells a person the proper response to a cop who says, "Yes I AM detaining you".
    I've posted the proper response, numerous times and in numerous places. Straight from my lawyer's mouth:

    "I have nothing further to say without my lawyer present." Then SHUT UP.

    Leave the "banter" to "Law & Order".

  14. #14
    Campaign Veteran Schlitz's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Talon View Post
    All too often I see "How to Talk to Cops" videos and articles, and inevitably someone states that if a cop decides to question you, your only response should be to say "am I free to go? or am I being detained?" The way the videos are structured, that question seems to deflect the LEOs. Yet so far, I've never seen a single video or article where it tells a person the proper response to a cop who says, "Yes I AM detaining you".

    You guys see what I'm saying, right? This question is posed as some kind of LEO Kryptonite, like merely waving it around causes them to lose their superpowers. At some point a cop is going to say "OK wiseass, I've seen all the same videos your amateur internet lawyers put out there, so YES, I'm detaining you. Now what? Oh, you have no idea what to say now, right?" And then you get tackled and tased by six 250lb thugs who "feared for their lives", and you end up charged with resisting arrest and six counts of battery on police officers.

    As far as I'm concerned, I think these videos are way off, at least on that one little ridiculous statement. Unfortunately its become something of a mantra in the past couple of years. Its even popping up in articles on Lew Rockwell's site, which is kind of discouraging since his columnists tend to be substantially smarter than a lot of people I've met.

    So, does someone here feel like filling in the blanks on this one?
    “The claim and exercise of a constitutional right cannot be converted into a crime.”
    [Miller vs. U.S., 230 F. Supp. 486, 489 (1956)]
    “There can be no sanction or penalty imposed upon one because of his exercise of constitutional rights.”
    [Sherar vs. Cullen, 481 F2d. 946 (1973)]

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    Regular Member hermannr's Avatar
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    I think the answer is more like: Am I being detained? Yes, then please write me a citation and i will be on my way.

    They have to cite the law you have violated on the citation, when they cannot, then say I will be on my way, have a good day. and leave.

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    Quote Originally Posted by hermannr View Post
    I think the answer is more like: Am I being detained? Yes, then please write me a citation and i will be on my way.
    Uh, no. Detention is a step or two before citation, so don't cough up your dough simply because you're one stop beyond contact.

    My state has very well-codified standards of behavior with respect to what law enforcement officers can and cannot do depending on the circumstances. They're not licenses to steal. Rather, they're written hand-in-hand with the laws of our nation and our state so as to achieve an optimal balance between the rights of society and the rights of citizens within our society.

    I've been reading through them in detail over the last few days and I'm quite impressed. Most of the issues routinely addressed on this forum are addressed therein. I would submit them as a good measuring stick by which the procedures of other states' police departments could be compared.
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    Quote Originally Posted by OC for ME View Post
    Let me get this straight, demanding a lawyer then keeping your mouth shut is not the same as demanding a lawyer and keeping your mouth shut until demanded lawyer shows up. So, if you demand a lawyer and then keep your mouth shut, the cops are not required to provide a lawyer and can then force you to talk. Or, at a minimum, they will not call a lawyer for you and let you sit there quietly not contacting a lawyer because that requires you to talk. Eventually you will get a lawyer or be let go. Even if a judge is the one that has to appoint the lawyer to you or order that you be let go.
    Uh, what?



    This says it fine.
    Quote Originally Posted by Deanimator View Post
    I've posted the proper response, numerous times and in numerous places. Straight from my lawyer's mouth:

    "I have nothing further to say without my lawyer present." Then SHUT UP.

    Leave the "banter" to "Law & Order".
    If LE desire, they can continue the detainment, but it can not be indefinite. IIRC, 45minutes to an hour, or arrest, but I do NOT know. State law may control such time limits.
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    Regular Member Deanimator's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by wrightme View Post
    If LE desire, they can continue the detainment, but it can not be indefinite. IIRC, 45minutes to an hour, or arrest, but I do NOT know. State law may control such time limits.
    That makes it a "fish or cut bait" moment for the cops.

    They create their own evidence trail against themselves and you create NONE against yourself.

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    Quote Originally Posted by OC for ME View Post
    See skidmark, post #12, third paragraph. The rule is, keep your trap shut after you demand a lawyer. Your intent is crystal clear regardless of what SCOTUS has ruled.
    There is the problem. You do not need to "demand" a lawyer. You simply need to indicate that you will not respond to questioning without a lawyer.
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    Quote Originally Posted by OC for ME View Post
    OK, I get that. How long can they hold you in Nevada after you state this and they then do not question you. There by delaying a need to make your lawyer available. Not that LE would do that.
    Post 20
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    Regular Member FMCDH's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by William Fisher View Post
    When I'm driving I keep my DL, Registration and proof of Insurance in an envelope and attatched to the sun visor so I can simply take it down and have it ready when they come to my window. I don't have my CCP yet but when I get it, it will also go in the envelope when I drive.
    Seriously?

    Dude, how often do you get pulled over that you have started to prepare this far in advance?

    You either suck as a driver, or you live in a police state.

    Just sayin...
    Last edited by FMCDH; 09-21-2011 at 08:00 PM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by FMCDH View Post
    Seriously?

    Dude, how often do you get pulled over that you have started to prepare this far in advance?

    You either suck as a driver, or you live in a police state.

    Just sayin...
    I like the idea. It's a much better option than digging through your glove box in the dark. I believe some would call it being prepared.
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  24. #24
    Regular Member carry for myself's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by PracticalTactical View Post
    Easy, if he/she says you are being detained, ask on what grounds you are being detained.
    +1 exactly. the point is to continuously deflect their attempts at violating your rights, without giving them what they are illegally trying to obtain. i will give an example.


    officer "is that a gun?"
    reply: is it illegal to carry a gun?
    Officer: can i see your id
    Reply: am i being detained?

    this can go either way. no is the easiest but if not....

    officer: yes you are for officer safety, suspicion *some other horse doo reason*
    Reply : can you give me a valid legal reason of why you are holding me against my will?
    Officer: i need to know if your a felon or not
    Reply: do you have reasonable cause to believe im a felon?


    see how that works. the best reply is to question the question with intelligence and facts.

    if the officer states "do you think your cool carrying that" reply with "do you have a reason to be violating my 4th amendment rights?"

    not TOO combative but it also kind of hardens the point of "im not a pushover, try again"

    the second they take you into custody, or arrest you. shut up. tell them you are invoking your 5th amendment rights. and lawyer up.

    also make sure to have a voice recorder running. it can save your butt because without it. officer vs you in court. he will win usually.

    happy hunting ! :-D
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  25. #25
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    Quote Originally Posted by carry for myself View Post
    +1 exactly. the point is to continuously deflect their attempts at violating your rights, without giving them what they are illegally trying to obtain. i will give an example.


    officer "is that a gun?"
    reply: is it illegal to carry a gun?
    Officer: can i see your id
    Reply: am i being detained?

    this can go either way. no is the easiest but if not....

    officer: yes you are for officer safety, suspicion *some other horse doo reason*
    Reply : can you give me a valid legal reason of why you are holding me against my will?
    Officer: i need to know if your a felon or not
    Reply: do you have reasonable cause to believe im a felon?
    Officer: "Can I see some ID?"
    reply: "Why would I have one with me, unless I was driving?"
    "Those who would give up essential liberty to purchase a little temporary safety deserve neither liberty nor safety." Benjamin Franklin

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