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savasyn
10-08-2009, 3:05 PM
My friend lives inside of the area that the cops closed off for that manhunt in Sherman Oaks (http://laist.com/2009/10/08/manhunt_in_sherman_oaks_ends_with_n.php) early this morning. When he left to go to work, he had to let two sets of cops search his vehicle on his way out of the area.

I assume this is all legal given that they are actively looking for someone and therefore your right to decline search is no longer valid. Is that correct?

Additionally, he observed cops with dogs going from house to house just walking into back yards without permission. Is that also totally legal for them to do under those circumstances?

I understand the need and desire to catch the bad guy, I'm just curious about the legalities of those types of searches under those circumstances.

Thanks!

KCM222
10-08-2009, 3:09 PM
This doesn't seem legal at all.

It feels a lot like the gun confiscation that happened during Katrina.

POLICESTATE
10-08-2009, 3:13 PM
I don't think they can, they can ask but unless martial law has been declared you have the full rights of the 4th amendment. Of course they may screw with you but if they are looking for a suspect they shouldn't need to go through all your stuff to see a PERSON in your car. Maybe a quick pop of the trunk but that is about as far as is necessary to look for a bad guy.

savasyn
10-08-2009, 3:21 PM
I don't think they can, they can ask but unless martial law has been declared you have the full rights of the 4th amendment. Of course they may screw with you but if they are looking for a suspect they shouldn't need to go through all your stuff to see a PERSON in your car. Maybe a quick pop of the trunk but that is about as far as is necessary to look for a bad guy.

Interesting.
He did say that the searches were very brief. As you say, just to determine if there was a person hiding in the car.

Maestro Pistolero
10-08-2009, 3:27 PM
He did say that the searches were very brief.
Doesn't matter. No warrant, plus no permission, plus no proable cause or reasonable suspicion that YOU have committed a crime, equals NO SEARCH.

POLICESTATE
10-08-2009, 3:28 PM
Interesting.
He did say that the searches were very brief. As you say, just to determine if there was a person hiding in the car.

Although I'm sure you can probably decline to let them open your trunk I'm sure they would start really checking you out, running your ID, plate all that stuff. Then possibly detaining you under suspicion of something? I don't know. You never can tell what the police will do.

odysseus
10-08-2009, 3:32 PM
LE has quite a bit more leeway under the law when conducting an active search and chase for a felony suspect. It needs to of course be immediate and in direct relationship of the active on going active search of a person(s).

What happens on the street and what you can argue in front of a judge are different matters, especially in this scenario. Just my 2 cents.

Turo
10-08-2009, 3:33 PM
Additionally, he observed cops with dogs going from house to house just walking into back yards without permission. Is that also totally legal for them to do under those circumstances?


That's a good way to get shot... I can't imagine police officers doing that without permission.

As for searching your friend's car, if he told them "yes, you can search my car," then it's perfectly okay for them to do it. If he wanted to assert his 4th amendment rights, and didn't consent to the search, they would be breaking the law to search his vehicle.

Shane916
10-08-2009, 3:34 PM
They will search. If they can muster up probable cause of course.

If they find something illegal other than the person they were looking for...well then you have the fruit of the poisonous tree. Thus, (in theory) making any evidence obtained inadmissible in court.

The counter argument would be the good faith exception.

The moral, don't have anything illegal :)

They can pursue a suspect onto private property without permission.

Peter W Bush
10-08-2009, 3:35 PM
Im working in Sherman Oaks as we speak. What time did all of this happen? Is it still going on?

Glock22Fan
10-08-2009, 3:36 PM
Although I'm sure you can probably decline to let them open your trunk I'm sure they would start really checking you out, running your ID, plate all that stuff. Then possibly detaining you under suspicion of something? I don't know. You never can tell what the police will do.


We've discussed this over and over.

Without a warrent or articulate a reasonable cause for suspicion (not just that you happen to be near where a bad guy was seen), all they can do is look in the car, through the windows, check your license, insurance and registration and run your plate. Nothing more. If they use your refusal to open the trunk as suspicion of a crime, or try to detain you, then they are plain and simply wrong, unless they can articulate reasonable cause for suspicion.

Letting them get away with this is an infringement of our liberties, and leads to the "if you won't let us search, you must be guilty of something" syndrome.

Personally, I think we should not encourage them to think like that, and the way to do this is for innnocent people to insist on their rights under the constitution.

savasyn
10-08-2009, 3:37 PM
So being inside a perimeter of(and trying to leave) an active manhunt alone isn't PC for a search of this nature?

tube_ee
10-08-2009, 3:42 PM
Simple. No exceptions. If everybody did this, all of us would be freer.

"Why not, I've got nothing to hide" is the mentality of the slave.

If they ask, it's because they know they need to. If they didn't have to ask for permission, they wouldn't bother. If they have to ask, (which, if they're asking, they do,) then the only responsible answer from the citizen is "No."

Make law enforcers follow the law at all times.

If they don't like that, there's plenty of other jobs they can do.

--Shannon

Shane916
10-08-2009, 3:42 PM
So being inside a perimeter of(and trying to leave) an active manhunt alone isn't PC for a search of this nature?

What type of search exactly?

Stopping a vehicle to look inside and check the credentials of the individuals that match a description or are acting suspicious (and exiting the scene of a crime)? Happens everyday and with merit.

In essence, there are many variables involved to each event that are unique.

Glock22Fan
10-08-2009, 3:42 PM
So being inside a perimeter of(and trying to leave) an active manhunt alone isn't PC for a search of this nature?

Ask yourself this? Can they simply force their way into a private house to look for a criminal? (I'm assuming that they haven't actually seen the criminal enter the house in question.) If not, why should they force their way into your car?

If the criminal has been seen entering the house/car in question, that's another matter.

Shane916
10-08-2009, 3:45 PM
Ask yourself this? Can they simply force their way into a private house to look for a criminal? (I'm assuming that they haven't actually seen the criminal enter the house in question.) If not, why should they force their way into your car?

If the criminal has been seen entering the house/car in question, that's another matter.

Correct. Only in exigent circumstances.

Ron-Solo
10-08-2009, 4:05 PM
It's legal. Deal with it. Falls under fresh pursuit.

Mitch
10-08-2009, 4:11 PM
I don't think they can, they can ask but unless martial law has been declared you have the full rights of the 4th amendment.

Since the Constitution makes no provision for martial law, the 4th Amendment stands at any time.

KCM222
10-08-2009, 4:18 PM
It's legal. Deal with it. Falls under fresh pursuit.

Have the penal code reference?

Glock22Fan
10-08-2009, 4:27 PM
It's legal. Deal with it. Falls under fresh pursuit.

Yes, but don't they have to be actually pursuing someone? If they haven't seen someone enter the house or car, it isn't a pursuit, it is a search.

mmartin
10-08-2009, 4:27 PM
If they use your refusal to open the trunk as suspicion of a crime, or try to detain you, then they are plain and simply wrong, unless they can articulate reasonable cause for suspicion.

Letting them get away with this is an infringement of our liberties, and leads to the "if you won't let us search, you must be guilty of something" syndrome.

Personally, I think we should not encourage them to think like that, and the way to do this is for innnocent people to insist on their rights under the constitution.
... and then get arrested, bail out, get a lawyer, deal with the lies in the police report regarding how you gave permission and *then* how they found whatever ...

not like I'd know anything about it personally... :mad:

and nonetheless, I'm all for standing up for your rights, and challenging it when they are over the line. let's just say when encountering this situation, your mileage may vary.
megan

5hundo
10-08-2009, 4:39 PM
My friend lives inside of the area that the cops closed off for that manhunt in Sherman Oaks (http://laist.com/2009/10/08/manhunt_in_sherman_oaks_ends_with_n.php) early this morning. When he left to go to work, he had to let two sets of cops search his vehicle on his way out of the area.

I assume this is all legal given that they are actively looking for someone and therefore your right to decline search is no longer valid. Is that correct?

Additionally, he observed cops with dogs going from house to house just walking into back yards without permission. Is that also totally legal for them to do under those circumstances?

I understand the need and desire to catch the bad guy, I'm just curious about the legalities of those types of searches under those circumstances.

Thanks!

Cops can pursue a criminal onto private property but any criminal evidence they find on the property owner would be inadmissible in court. If your friend had a gun in his glove box and they asked him to open it, I'd have advised your friend to ask the cop if he thought a man could fit in there.

Same with a rifle case. A human being cannot physically fit in the case, therefore you have no probable cause to search it. Can I go now officer?

Just keep repeating that until the cop lets you go...

"Am I free to go now, officer?"

"Am I free to go now, officer?"

"Am I free to go now, officer?"

If he looses his cool (which has happened to me once) then just reply with: "Either site me, arrest me or call for a dog but I'm running late and don't have time for this."

Dr. Peter Venkman
10-08-2009, 4:40 PM
They can pursue a suspect onto private property without permission.

Ding ding ding. An actual sound piece of advice in the wave of bad internet lawyer Judo in this thread.

MudCamper
10-08-2009, 4:44 PM
Additionally, he observed cops with dogs going from house to house just walking into back yards without permission. Is that also totally legal for them to do under those circumstances?

That's a good way to get shot... I can't imagine police officers doing that without permission.

Be careful here. As others have stated, in a "pursuit", they could be in your back yard. What's the difference between a search and a pursuit? I'm not sure but it's probably a matter of opinion or circumstance. And then there's the whole "public place" regardless of private property issue.

I woke up one night and saw a flashlight sweep across my bedroom windows. Mind you I live on five acres and this was the back of my house. I got up, grabbed a handgun, and soon discovered the light had moved to the front yard. I peeked out a window before taking any action to discover 2 sheriff's and a dog. They were in "pursuit" of a guy who'd run through a field and then through my property. My point is, if you come out guns blazing, you are in for serious trouble.

Glock22Fan
10-08-2009, 4:45 PM
... and then get arrested, bail out, get a lawyer, deal with the lies in the police report regarding how you gave permission and *then* how they found whatever ...

not like I'd know anything about it personally... :mad:

and nonetheless, I'm all for standing up for your rights, and challenging it when they are over the line. let's just say when encountering this situation, your mileage may vary.
megan


"Those who give up a little liberty for security deserve neither." -- someone more famous than me.

Brianguy
10-08-2009, 4:45 PM
Generally this is what I do:
Be polite and never raise your voice. Don't agree to requests to search anything and comply with their orders. Do not consent to anything. Get their names and badge numbers. Call a lawyer if you feel you were violated.

You can't tell a cop he's wrong, we're all criminals in their eyes. The only way to win is in the court room.

bwiese
10-08-2009, 4:59 PM
My friend lives inside of the area that the cops closed off for that manhunt in Sherman Oaks (http://laist.com/2009/10/08/manhunt_in_sherman_oaks_ends_with_n.php) early this morning. When he left to go to work, he had to let two sets of cops search his vehicle on his way out of the area.

I assume this is all legal given that they are actively looking for someone and therefore your right to decline search is no longer valid. Is that correct?

You always have a right to express your wish to decline search.

Whether or not the cops honor it is another thing.

But never give up your rights no matter what the cops say.

If they say "We're gonna blowtorch your gunsafe if you don't consent", tell 'em, "I don't consent" - and call your lawyer.

Always reserve your rights, never make it convenient.

tyrist
10-08-2009, 6:12 PM
Yes because your friend entered a crime scene and then tried to exit that crime scene. If he didn't want to get searched he should have stayed in his house until the crime scene was taken down. Hot pursuit changes things greatly.

Southwest Chuck
10-08-2009, 7:48 PM
There was a case not to long ago in Orange County (Santa Ana?)where LEO's chased a BG into the back yard of a house late at night. Hearing noises, the resident came out with a baseball bat / broom stick (can't remember) and the cops shot him dead, thinking he was the suspect they were chasing. Sad part was that he was newly married and his wife was pregnant.

packnrat
10-08-2009, 7:50 PM
Well I drive a pu truck. Standand cab, clear glass, open bed.
NO reason to ask me for a search.

.

locosway
10-08-2009, 8:20 PM
It's legal. Deal with it. Falls under fresh pursuit.

Just because you're a cop sympathizer doesn't make it right or legal. Actively pursuing and searching with a hunch are very different. Many times cops think a suspect is in an area and setup a perimeter to find them, only to later discover he's escaped some how.

Door to door searches are not legal unless they indeed did see the suspect enter. Otherwise they could just go door to door until they've located any wanted felon, which sounds a bit like Nazi Germany.

As for the car, you have no expectation of privacy while driving, however you do have search and seizure rights unless there's reasonable articulable suspicion. Given the suspect was seen in the area, that could be enough grounds for RAS to give them search capabilities. But this is far different from someone's home.

loather
10-08-2009, 8:40 PM
Uh-oh. Godwin's law has been invoked. No further good shall come of this :D

swhatb
10-08-2009, 9:51 PM
What about when the threat level changes and the airport police search vehicles coming in to the airport? What is their scope?

Mason McDuffie
10-08-2009, 9:54 PM
No PC no right to search.

hoffmang
10-08-2009, 10:02 PM
First, the admonitions above to deny consent to the search are key. Always say no to the search.

That said, the Supreme Court has ruled that a bona fide checkpoint looking for a specific at large criminal allows the temporary seizure of autos. It's less clear that they have the right to actually search if you haven't consented. If your friend didn't consent, he may have a novel case against the officers.

-Gene

snobord99
10-09-2009, 1:02 AM
It's pretty simple. All searches and seizures absent probable cause are presumed unreasonable absent an exception to this general rule. One such exception is if the officers are in hot pursuit. The question is, does the qualify as hot pursuit? Without doing some research into the case law, I can't say if the court would say this was legal. I can, however, do a quick copy/paste of a treatise on Criminal Constitutional Law on the issue. On second thought, I'll summarize. God knows what kind of copyright crap I'll get into if I copy/paste :rolleyes:.

One exception to the PC/warrant requirement is exigent circumstances (which hot pursuit falls under). An exigent circumstance exists where there is ''specially pressing or urgent law enforcement need.'' When determining if an exigent circumstance exists a court should consider whether the circumstances, as they appeared to the officer at the time, would have led a reasonable officer to conclude that immediate action was necessary. The scope of the search, however, is limited to what is necessary to deal with the exigent circumstances or the emergency.

Now, with the limited facts we have here and without actually reading cases (it's too late for me to want to do that), I'd say this would probably be considered legal. It was an armed robbery (which is probably considered a fairly "violent" crime) where one of the suspects was already arrested in the area and the other was known to be in the area.

snobord99
10-09-2009, 1:04 AM
"Those who give up a little liberty for security deserve neither." -- someone more famous than me.

LOL. This makes me think of It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia, season 2, episode 9 "Charlie Goes America All Over Everybody's ***."

snobord99
10-09-2009, 1:05 AM
Ask yourself this? Can they simply force their way into a private house to look for a criminal? (I'm assuming that they haven't actually seen the criminal enter the house in question.) If not, why should they force their way into your car?

If the criminal has been seen entering the house/car in question, that's another matter.

SCOTUS reasoning: because you have a lower expectation of privacy in your car.

snobord99
10-09-2009, 1:07 AM
Just because you're a cop sympathizer doesn't make it right or legal. Actively pursuing and searching with a hunch are very different. Many times cops think a suspect is in an area and setup a perimeter to find them, only to later discover he's escaped some how.

Door to door searches are not legal unless they indeed did see the suspect enter. Otherwise they could just go door to door until they've located any wanted felon, which sounds a bit like Nazi Germany.

As for the car, you have no expectation of privacy while driving, however you do have search and seizure rights unless there's reasonable articulable suspicion. Given the suspect was seen in the area, that could be enough grounds for RAS to give them search capabilities. But this is far different from someone's home.

You do have an expectation of privacy while driving. It's just a lower expectation than when you're in your house, but don't mistake that to mean you have no expectation of privacy in your car.

snobord99
10-09-2009, 1:12 AM
They will search. If they can muster up probable cause of course.

If they find something illegal other than the person they were looking for...well then you have the fruit of the poisonous tree. Thus, (in theory) making any evidence obtained inadmissible in court.

The counter argument would be the good faith exception.

The moral, don't have anything illegal :)

They can pursue a suspect onto private property without permission.

I'm not 100% certain about this, but I don't think that's correct. If they find something illegal besides the person they were looking for, they can still use that evidence assuming they had a right to be where they were when they found whatever it is that was illegal. Plain view exception. So if they rush into your house and it was a bona fide exigent circumstance hot pursuit and you happen to have a kilo of coke sitting on your coffee table, they could still use that in court since they were legally in your house and it was in plain view.

As far as the good faith exception, the only good faith exception I can think of is when the officer relied on a bad warrant (one that lacked PC) but the evidence still gets in. That can't be the one you're talking about here since there's no warrant. Which good faith exception are you referring to? I'd like to know...in case there's one I don't know about ;).

artherd
10-09-2009, 3:06 AM
Checkpoints at crime scene borders (with a real, actual, crime, narrowly construed) are legal. The extent to which that allows search is somewhat up in the air. It certainly does allow peeking in the window and perhaps DL/ID inspections. As to opening the trunk, etc - grey area right now.

In no case would the allowable search for a person include areas where a person could not hide (glovebox.)

I'd be real interested to hear wether your friend consented (if he did, I don't want to know anymore.) and if not, wether they looked in areas where a man could not hide.


Dogs walking through the neighborhood is covered under exigent circumstances.

VaderSpade
10-09-2009, 7:52 AM
I was returning from WA with two antique pianos in a u-haul. When I got to the CA border/AG check station I was told, "I'll need to check the u-haul, Lots of thing are brought in, in u-hauls". I ask if I had to allow the search? And added that "I don't want ANY of my rights violated". The guy said "Only if you want to enter CA" "you can turn around and go back, and we probably won't even follow you" By this time he was sure I had some kind of contraband, another officer had moved up and was hovering near by.
Although it would have been fun to turn around I wanted to get home. When I opened the u-haul the officers were very disappointed.
I have to wonder what AG products are being smuggled in u-hauls, and what else do they have the right to look for???

serrogate
10-09-2009, 8:17 AM
the way i look at it is different then most i guess, but they are looking out for my safety so maybe hes hiding in my trunk and i dont even know about it and i pop it open and he's there tryin to escape, that would be crazy. I dont think id like to go a mile down the road and him pop out with a gun to my head. sorry just my 2 shredded beef tacos

locosway
10-09-2009, 8:21 AM
I was returning from WA with two antique pianos in a u-haul. When I got to the CA border/AG check station I was told, "I'll need to check the u-haul, Lots of thing are brought in, in u-hauls". I ask if I had to allow the search? And added that "I don't want ANY of my rights violated". The guy said "Only if you want to enter CA" "you can turn around and go back, and we probably won't even follow you" By this time he was sure I had some kind of contraband, another officer had moved up and was hovering near by.
Although it would have been fun to turn around I wanted to get home. When I opened the u-haul the officers were very disappointed.
I have to wonder what AG products are being smuggled in u-hauls, and what else do they have the right to look for???

From what I understand people have the right to travel (interstate). Also, unless they suspected you of breaking some law, they can't search your vehicle. It's no different than profiling someone for driving a Honda Civic as opposed to a Mercedes.

jamesob
10-09-2009, 8:23 AM
its a safety issue for the public and you. they are looking for a fugitive and they have been known to carjack people and put them in trunks and they also have buddys come and pick them up. so legal wise there will most likely not be anything wrong with them doing it, thats their pc. as for anything they find illegal you will lose it but as for being prosicuted for it, well that all depends on what they find. imho

snobord99
10-09-2009, 9:40 AM
From what I understand people have the right to travel (interstate). Also, unless they suspected you of breaking some law, they can't search your vehicle. It's no different than profiling someone for driving a Honda Civic as opposed to a Mercedes.

That's my understanding too. There's an exception for border crossings, but that applies to international borders, not state (not that I know of).

Lyte-
10-09-2009, 9:53 AM
There was a case not to long ago in Orange County (Santa Ana?)where LEO's chased a BG into the back yard of a house late at night. Hearing noises, the resident came out with a baseball bat / broom stick (can't remember) and the cops shot him dead, thinking he was the suspect they were chasing. Sad part was that he was newly married and his wife was pregnant.

That was Anaheim, and he was 19.

5hundo
10-09-2009, 10:09 AM
There was a case not to long ago in Orange County (Santa Ana?)where LEO's chased a BG into the back yard of a house late at night. Hearing noises, the resident came out with a baseball bat / broom stick (can't remember) and the cops shot him dead, thinking he was the suspect they were chasing. Sad part was that he was newly married and his wife was pregnant.

Or how about the time the San Bernardino Sheriff's Deputy shot an unarmed, off duty, Air Force security forces officer.

...and he was acquitted, BTW.

http://www.prisonplanet.com/articles/september2007/210907cop.htm

:rolleyes:

locosway
10-09-2009, 10:18 AM
Or how about the time the San Bernardino Sheriff's Deputy shot an unarmed, off duty, Air Force security forces officer.

...and he was acquitted, BTW.

http://www.prisonplanet.com/articles/september2007/210907cop.htm

:rolleyes:

The short answer is people make mistakes and cops are no exception. However, I don't agree with the double standard cops have when involved in shootings. They should be held liable just as a normal citizen is.

If we turn this thread into a questionable one by posting things that accuse cops of wrong doing, we may find it shut down.

So, lets keep it to civil rights and not over zealous cops.

Shane916
10-09-2009, 10:55 AM
I'm not 100% certain about this, but I don't think that's correct. If they find something illegal besides the person they were looking for, they can still use that evidence assuming they had a right to be where they were when they found whatever it is that was illegal. Plain view exception. So if they rush into your house and it was a bona fide exigent circumstance hot pursuit and you happen to have a kilo of coke sitting on your coffee table, they could still use that in court since they were legally in your house and it was in plain view.

As far as the good faith exception, the only good faith exception I can think of is when the officer relied on a bad warrant (one that lacked PC) but the evidence still gets in. That can't be the one you're talking about here since there's no warrant. Which good faith exception are you referring to? I'd like to know...in case there's one I don't know about ;).

You are correct. I should of specified a little more. In regards to hot pursuit. They may search within the general vicinity (think they say like wing-span lol) of the suspect. Also like you mentioned, the items must be in plain view. They can not start going through every nook and cranny of the house searching for illegal items.

Good faith exception regarding warrantless searches:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Arizona_v._Evans

Actual brief:

http://www.law.cornell.edu/supct/html/93-1660.ZO.html

Nothing to do with hot pursuit though :)

ilbob
10-09-2009, 10:59 AM
This would be one of the very few cases where I would agree with such a search, assuming they actually were actively hunting down a dangerous fugitive.

IMO, it seems reasonable for the cops that know a dangerous fugitive is in a very small area to take a brief look see into your vehicle on the off chance the fugitive might be there.

SoCalDep
10-09-2009, 11:00 AM
Cop was charged and acquitted by a jury just like any civilian. No double standard. Bad example.

Meplat
10-09-2009, 11:37 AM
Well I drive a pu truck. Standand cab, clear glass, open bed.
NO reason to ask me for a search.

.

The perp could be behind the seat.:43:

locosway
10-09-2009, 11:43 AM
Cop was charged and acquitted by a jury just like any civilian. No double standard. Bad example.

We sure have a lot of bad examples then, don't we?

Meplat
10-09-2009, 12:46 PM
They have no right to seize anything but contraband AG products and pests. Now, if your U-Haul is packed full of 13 year old undocumented Salvadoran sex slaves......... I would not put it past the PQI strolling over and having a chat with the duty CHP 'off the record'. Then it's up to the CHP to dream up articuable suspicion to stop you somewhere down the road and do a lawful search.

In reality it is departmental policy to look the other way. Most all Ag contraband that comes into the state is the result of honest ignorance of the laws and the reasons for them. Truthfully punitive action is never taken as a result of a border station stop. You have the option of surrendering the quarantined Ag products or turning around. Making a stop at an Ag border station any more unpleasant than necessary defeats their purpose. Our borders are so pores that the border stations are easy to avoid if you want. If you need to know how to avoid them Google ferrets.

An acquaintance of mine was asked to open his trunk at the Truckee station. When the PQI saw his Simi-auto M-1919 complete with tripod his eyes got big and he said: It's really none of my business but is that thing legal? Friend explained that yes it was and it was only Simi-auto. Friend watched his mirrors for over 50 miles expecting to be pulled over but it never happened.



I was returning from WA with two antique pianos in a u-haul. When I got to the CA border/AG check station I was told, "I'll need to check the u-haul, Lots of thing are brought in, in u-hauls". I ask if I had to allow the search? And added that "I don't want ANY of my rights violated". The guy said "Only if you want to enter CA" "you can turn around and go back, and we probably won't even follow you" By this time he was sure I had some kind of contraband, another officer had moved up and was hovering near by.
Although it would have been fun to turn around I wanted to get home. When I opened the u-haul the officers were very disappointed.
I have to wonder what AG products are being smuggled in u-hauls, and what else do they have the right to look for???

Meplat
10-09-2009, 12:56 PM
It would probably be a lot less expensive to have to shoot him 2 miles down the road than to be caught with him in your trunk!:rolleyes:



the way i look at it is different then most i guess, but they are looking out for my safety so maybe hes hiding in my trunk and i dont even know about it and i pop it open and he's there tryin to escape, that would be crazy. I dont think id like to go a mile down the road and him pop out with a gun to my head. sorry just my 2 shredded beef tacos

Meplat
10-09-2009, 1:20 PM
It's ag code, not PC. Nothing a PQI sees is admissible in court. Of course that does not stop him from dropping a dime if his moral conscience is outraged. Like finding a body or kidnap victim in a trunk.

The ag code does not say you can't come into the state. It just says there are certain things you can't bring with you. Like non-native pests or disease that are not already here.

From what I understand people have the right to travel (interstate). Also, unless they suspected you of breaking some law, they can't search your vehicle. It's no different than profiling someone for driving a Honda Civic as opposed to a Mercedes.

So, if you know that insect egg masses are common on motor homes and outdoor furniture is it "profiling" to look for egg masses on a motor home with fold up lawn chairs tied to the back. On top of this pains are taken, within reason, to make inspections on as random a basis as possible.

Aptos
10-09-2009, 4:56 PM
Doesn't matter. No warrant, plus no permission, plus no proable cause or reasonable suspicion that YOU have committed a crime, equals NO SEARCH.

It's not that easy Senior Pistolero!

There are exceptions to the general rule that a search warrant is required to conduct a search. One of the exceptions is exigency; an emergency is occuring and getting an arrest warrant would risk loss of evidence or escape of a dangerous suspect. This exception is also called "hot pursuit." If the police were activley looking for a dangerous person in a place that could hide a person, the warrant exception may have applied.

Another exception to a warrant requirement is consent. Here, the original post said he "let the cops search the car."

bomb_on_bus
10-09-2009, 5:09 PM
sounds like the perp was driving the vehicle and got away:p

Aptos
10-09-2009, 5:10 PM
I was returning from WA with two antique pianos in a u-haul. When I got to the CA border/AG check station I was told, "I'll need to check the u-haul, Lots of thing are brought in, in u-hauls". I ask if I had to allow the search? And added that "I don't want ANY of my rights violated". The guy said "Only if you want to enter CA" "you can turn around and go back, and we probably won't even follow you" By this time he was sure I had some kind of contraband, another officer had moved up and was hovering near by.
Although it would have been fun to turn around I wanted to get home. When I opened the u-haul the officers were very disappointed.
I have to wonder what AG products are being smuggled in u-hauls, and what else do they have the right to look for???

I'm not a lawyer but...

In a lot of places there is a warrant exception for administrative searches. (Restaurant inspection, gun dealer inventory inspections, county planning departments.) The government agents at the ag checkpoint who wanted to search your van may have fit into this exception and therefore not needed your consent or a warrant to search.

tenpercentfirearms
10-10-2009, 8:04 AM
It is simple. Never consent to a search. Period. End of story.

If they have probable cause to search your trunk, they are going to search your trunk. If they don't, they are still probably going to search your trunk. The key is by not giving consent, you protect your rights.

I generally am not in a hurry to go anywhere. I am going to refuse consent, even if they are looking for a criminal. You could even make it easy on them and say, "I do not consent to opening up my trunk. What do you think is your probable cause for opening my trunk? [cop answers with some lame reason] I want you to understand I do not consent to this search and am only opening my trunk under duress. [cop looks in trunk] Am I free to go officer? I hope you find who you are looking for. Have a nice day."

cadurand
10-10-2009, 8:52 AM
It is simple. Never consent to a search. Period. End of story.

If they have probable cause to search your trunk, they are going to search your trunk. If they don't, they are still probably going to search your trunk. The key is by not giving consent, you protect your rights.

I generally am not in a hurry to go anywhere. I am going to refuse consent, even if they are looking for a criminal. You could even make it easy on them and say, "I do not consent to opening up my trunk. What do you think is your probable cause for opening my trunk? [cop answers with some lame reason] I want you to understand I do not consent to this search and am only opening my trunk under duress. [cop looks in trunk] Am I free to go officer? I hope you find who you are looking for. Have a nice day."I think there's a flaw in your story here. If you open the trunk, you are consenting.

Wasn't there a similar story here where the cops were searching a home and demanded access to a gunsafe. If the owner didn't cooperate and open it for them they were going to cut it open? So the owner, not wanting to ruin his safe, opened it for the police. That was considered consent.

I don't know how it would work if you don't consent to opening the trunk. I'd guess they would order you out of the car and take your keys.

That will definitely make it clear you aren't consenting to anything at all.

Harley Quinn
10-10-2009, 9:25 AM
Talk is cheap, and if you failed to allow them to search for a gunman (pretty big object) you would be held for some time I have a feeling.

It is sort of a situation that the "eye cannot trespass", you would be in danger of being arrested if in view, and had some contraband of sorts...:confused:

But lawyers are there for just that purpose. Or, don't carry contraband around:eek:

Regards

tenpercentfirearms
10-10-2009, 9:34 AM
I think there's a flaw in your story here. If you open the trunk, you are consenting.

Wasn't there a similar story here where the cops were searching a home and demanded access to a gunsafe. If the owner didn't cooperate and open it for them they were going to cut it open? So the owner, not wanting to ruin his safe, opened it for the police. That was considered consent.

I don't know how it would work if you don't consent to opening the trunk. I'd guess they would order you out of the car and take your keys.

That will definitely make it clear you aren't consenting to anything at all.

No, I am not consenting. Think about it this way. If you refuse a search and you are going to take it all the way. They are probably going to pull you out of the car, cuff you, and then search your vehicle. Do I need to take it to that level especially if I am not hiding anything?

In this specific case, if I refuse the search and ask the cop if he thinks he has probable cause, he can give me his reason. I simply state I disagree and I am still refusing the search unless he orders me to using his stated reason. So he says, I am ordering you to open the trunk. I clearly state for the record, "I am not opening the trunk of my own free will and am doing so under duress. I still do not consent to this search." He looks in the trunk, sees no criminal, I say, "Am I free to go?" He even touches anything in the trunk, I remind him that he did not have probable cause for the search, there is clearly no human in the trunk, and he is wasting his time and jeopardizing his job as he didn't have PC to begin with, he is violating my rights, and anything he might find will be thrown out anyway.

Now maybe a lawyer can come on here and say that because my own hand hit the trunk button, I really gave consent. I would argue in court I did not give consent, but that I was coerced to do so.

The gun safe example, I tell them to get a warrant. Once they have a warrant, then I will open the safe to avoid having it destroyed. If they don't have a warrant, they aren't even getting into my house. The odds of the coppers using their resources to torch a safe without a warrant and under simple probable cause are slim. It costs money for departments to bust into safes. They get a warrant, there is no reason for me to still refuse, they have court ordered permission.

The moral of the story is you can still stand up for your rights without being a jerk or obtuse about it. Especially in the case of the police looking for a real criminal threat in your neighborhood. The key is I would shape the police into doing things correctly while maintaining my rights.

snobord99
10-10-2009, 9:50 AM
No, I am not consenting. Think about it this way. If you refuse a search and you are going to take it all the way. They are probably going to pull you out of the car, cuff you, and then search your vehicle. Do I need to take it to that level especially if I am not hiding anything?

In this specific case, if I refuse the search and ask the cop if he thinks he has probable cause, he can give me his reason. I simply state I disagree and I am still refusing the search unless he orders me to using his stated reason. So he says, I am ordering you to open the trunk. I clearly state for the record, "I am not opening the trunk of my own free will and am doing so under duress. I still do not consent to this search." He looks in the trunk, sees no criminal, I say, "Am I free to go?" He even touches anything in the trunk, I remind him that he did not have probable cause for the search, there is clearly no human in the trunk, and he is wasting his time and jeopardizing his job as he didn't have PC to begin with, he is violating my rights, and anything he might find will be thrown out anyway.

Now maybe a lawyer can come on here and say that because my own hand hit the trunk button, I really gave consent. I would argue in court I did not give consent, but that I was coerced to do so.

The gun safe example, I tell them to get a warrant. Once they have a warrant, then I will open the safe to avoid having it destroyed. If they don't have a warrant, they aren't even getting into my house. The odds of the coppers using their resources to torch a safe without a warrant and under simple probable cause are slim. It costs money for departments to bust into safes. They get a warrant, there is no reason for me to still refuse, they have court ordered permission.

The moral of the story is you can still stand up for your rights without being a jerk or obtuse about it. Especially in the case of the police looking for a real criminal threat in your neighborhood. The key is I would shape the police into doing things correctly while maintaining my rights.

First, there are circumstances where PC isn't needed for a search. They're the exception, not the rule, but those circumstances do exist. As has been mentioned, exigent circumstances hot pursuit is one of them. I agree you should stand up for your rights, but also keep in mind that there's a chance you are the one technically wrong in the eyes of the law if you insist on every occasion that they must have PC.

Second, if I remember correctly, the court has held before that your actions may constitute consent. Now, as with just about any other court holding, there has to be a line as to which actions essentially nullify what comes out of your mouth. I'd need to read some cases (which I don't feel like doing right now) to form an opinion as to whether your action here would be considered consent, but keep in mind that just because your mouth says "no" doesn't necessarily mean the court will interpret it as "no." The safest bet is to let the cops open the trunk themselves, lest your action be construed as consent.

jamesob
10-10-2009, 11:01 AM
if the police have a perimeter set up that they know that the fugitive is in nobody is leaving the area without the vehicle being searched. consider yourself within the crime scene and subject to search since you are within the crime scene. simple as that.

tenpercentfirearms
10-10-2009, 11:02 AM
First, there are circumstances where PC isn't needed for a search. They're the exception, not the rule, but those circumstances do exist. As has been mentioned, exigent circumstances hot pursuit is one of them. I agree you should stand up for your rights, but also keep in mind that there's a chance you are the one technically wrong in the eyes of the law if you insist on every occasion that they must have PC.

I don't understand that one at all. Insisting they have probable cause is my right. I never have to consent to a search, ever. Even if they bring a warrant, I can refuse consent.

Of course I can't physically resist them and it won't be until in court that we prove whether they are right or wrong. But I never have to give in.

tenpercentfirearms
10-10-2009, 11:03 AM
if the police have a perimeter set up that they know that the fugitive is in nobody is leaving the area without the vehicle being searched. consider yourself within the crime scene and subject to search since you are within the crime scene. simple as that.

Do you have some case law or code to back that up? Why not just consider California a crime scene and everyone is subject to search at any time?

jamesob
10-10-2009, 11:10 AM
i could see a wanted felon taking you down at gunpoint tying you up and stuffing you in your own trunk. then driving to a checkpoint and the guy telling the cops that they can't search his car and driving threw with you in the trunk, then later killing you. man only if they would have searched the car. lol. as for case law i'm sure there might be, i'll check later.

tenpercentfirearms
10-10-2009, 1:40 PM
i could see a wanted felon taking you down at gunpoint tying you up and stuffing you in your own trunk. then driving to a checkpoint and the guy telling the cops that they can't search his car and driving threw with you in the trunk, then later killing you. man only if they would have searched the car. lol. as for case law i'm sure there might be, i'll check later.

I could also see me shooting the felon with my Glock 27 that I carry on me all the time too. What ifs mean nothing.

Either we have rights or we don't. Either you want to recognize those rights or you want to justify them away.

Next thing you know you will say I should carry a gun because a bad guy might take it from me.

jamesob
10-10-2009, 5:06 PM
i bet your the fastest gun in the west, nobody could ever get the drop on you. lmao. i also carry a glock with me at all times, that dont mean **** when somebody already has one pulled on you. there is a thing called "exigent circumstance" it is described as "‘an emergency situation requiring swift action to prevent imminent danger to life or serious damage to property, or to forestall the imminent escape of a suspect or destruction of evidence.

tenpercentfirearms
10-10-2009, 6:14 PM
i bet your the fastest gun in the west, nobody could ever get the drop on you. lmao. i also carry a glock with me at all times, that dont mean **** when somebody already has one pulled on you. there is a thing called "exigent circumstance" it is described as "Ďan emergency situation requiring swift action to prevent imminent danger to life or serious damage to property, or to forestall the imminent escape of a suspect or destruction of evidence.

I beg to differ. Me having a gun and being able to draw and shoot two from concealment in under two seconds means everything vs being unarmed. A bad guy could still have the drop on me, but unless he actually shoots first, a lot can happen in two seconds. All I need is for him to shift focus for just a second.

Still this is pointless as the odds of me being caught in a perimeter search and not consenting to a search are infinitely higher than a bad guy kidnapping me and subduing me in the trunk and my only chance for survival being hampered by the bad guy refusing consent to a search. I don't think that is ever going to happen so it does not factor into being a reason I should consent.

snobord99
10-11-2009, 12:22 AM
I don't understand that one at all. Insisting they have probable cause is my right. I never have to consent to a search, ever. Even if they bring a warrant, I can refuse consent.

Of course I can't physically resist them and it won't be until in court that we prove whether they are right or wrong. But I never have to give in.

You have every right to insist that they have probable cause in every single instance just as I have every right to insist the government owes me $50,000 a month. That doesn't make you or I right in the eyes of the law (difference being you'd be right more often than I would :p). As James pointed out, there are exigent circumstances. If you've managed to get yourself caught up in an exigent circumstance situation (like being within a crime scene), then yes, you have every right to insist on PC, but that doesn't mean that you're right and they actually have to have PC in the eyes of the law or Constitution (as it has thus far been interpreted). Again, you're right, you never have to consent to a search but if they have PC, a warrant, or an exception, your right to refuse consent means nothing because you're probably getting searched (legally) anyways.

tenpercentfirearms
10-11-2009, 9:41 AM
You have every right to insist that they have probable cause in every single instance just as I have every right to insist the government owes me $50,000 a month. That doesn't make you or I right in the eyes of the law (difference being you'd be right more often than I would :p). As James pointed out, there are exigent circumstances. If you've managed to get yourself caught up in an exigent circumstance situation (like being within a crime scene), then yes, you have every right to insist on PC, but that doesn't mean that you're right and they actually have to have PC in the eyes of the law or Constitution (as it has thus far been interpreted). Again, you're right, you never have to consent to a search but if they have PC, a warrant, or an exception, your right to refuse consent means nothing because you're probably getting searched (legally) anyways.

I understand that. Cops are going to do what cops want to do. I always refuse because if they do search me without probable cause, it gets thrown out of court. They very well could have probable cause, I still refuse. In the end I expect to possibly get searched and that is fine, but if their ducks aren't in a row, I can hold them accountable.

I get in the field I am at a disadvantage. It is when we get out of the field and in the courts that they have to justify their actions.

Harley Quinn
10-11-2009, 9:59 AM
I understand that. Cops are going to do what cops want to do. I always refuse because if they do search me without probable cause, it gets thrown out of court. They very well could have probable cause, I still refuse. In the end I expect to possibly get searched and that is fine, but if their ducks aren't in a row, I can hold them accountable.

I get in the field I am at a disadvantage. It is when we get out of the field and in the courts that they have to justify their actions.

True, one thing has become clear in the last 10 years or so, is we all have rights.

Now if a jury listened to the case, was told a killer was contained in an area and they were checking cars coming off that street for possible suspect and you would not let police look into your trunk. Do you think, you would win that one? :confused:

snobord99
10-11-2009, 10:07 AM
I understand that. Cops are going to do what cops want to do. I always refuse because if they do search me without probable cause, it gets thrown out of court. They very well could have probable cause, I still refuse. In the end I expect to possibly get searched and that is fine, but if their ducks aren't in a row, I can hold them accountable.

I get in the field I am at a disadvantage. It is when we get out of the field and in the courts that they have to justify their actions.

Almost, but not always (e.g., reasonable suspicion searches, exigent circumstance searches, airport searches, etc...) ;).

snobord99
10-11-2009, 10:09 AM
True, one thing has become clear in the last 10 years or so, is we all have rights.

Now if a jury listened to the case, was told a killer was contained in an area and they were checking cars coming off that street for possible suspect and you would not let police look into your trunk. Do you think, you would win that one? :confused:

While that's a good point, it doesn't work. Evidence obtained in violation of the 4th Amendment is suppressed. Whether it's in violation of the 4th is decided by the judge, not jury. So, while a jury probably won't take your side, it doesn't matter. If it was in violation of the 4th, the jury will never see that evidence anyways.

Harley Quinn
10-11-2009, 10:18 AM
Fourth is interesting:

http://www.lectlaw.com/def/f081.htm

Even in the law enforcement context, the State may interfere with an individual's Fourth Amendment interests with less than probable cause and without a warrant if the intrusion is only minimal and is justified by law enforcement purposes.

Does get tricky.

Why it ends up in court, and in front of the Judge at times.

Regards

tenpercentfirearms
10-11-2009, 4:58 PM
I have nothing to hide though so nothing will ever end up with a jury unless the police are just plain corrupt. The whole point of exercising these rights is not because of some side criminal issue. It is because I am not a criminal and I don't want to be treated like one.

Again, in the end, if they demand I open the trunk or take me out and look, no big deal. I have accepted they might get into the vehicle. It is that I won't give them permission and I am willing to passively resist is the key. At the end of the day, I will follow law enforcement commands in order to preserve my immediate safety.

flyer898
10-11-2009, 7:57 PM
Mere presence in an area where a crime has occurred does not equal probable cause to search. Leaving aside administrative inspections because these facts do not fit that exception, there must either be consent or probable cause before a search takes place.

The probable cause can be probable cause to arrest in which case the extent of the search is limited based on the offense for which the arrest is made and the area into which the person arrested could reach to conceal or destroy evidence.

Here we are not dealing with arrest PC, but search PC. Again, mere presence in the area, whether in a vehicle or not, does not equate to PC to arrest or even reasonable suspicion to detain. (Note: we have to justify the detention before we even begin the analysis of the justification for the search.)

Search without PC is valid if there is voluntary consent. However, if the detention that leads to the consent is itself unreasonable, then the consent is not voluntary. That means law enforcement must have a good reason to detain someone before they can ask for consent to search. Oh, and the detention cannot be unreasonably prolonged. Wow, this is getting complicated!

Let's say we have a valid detention and no consent to search. Now probable cause is necessary for the search. No PC means no search. But lets say we have probable cause (I said this before, but it bears repeating: mere presence in a high crime area, without more does not equal probable cause) the next question is whether the necessity of a warrant is excused.

For motor vehicles the fact that probable cause exists to search the motor vehicle excuses the warrant requirement. Now the officer, assuming probable cause, has access to the entire vehicle and all the containers inside: purses, packages, the trunk, the glove compartment, and almost anything else is a container subject to search under the PC that applies for the vehicle.

But, what if there was not PC, or the consent was involutary, or there was no reasonable basis for the detention? Now we get to remedies. If the police are searching for the bad guy that Killed, Robbed, Raped, or whatever and they violate your rights, any evidence that results will be suppressed, as to you. But only as to you! Unless the bad guy has standing to object to the search (you picked him up as a hitchhiker and he is riding as a passenger in your car with your consent for example) he will not be able to object to the search and the evidence will be admissible as to him.

So in the hypothetical of the somewhat law-abiding citizen who is driving around a little bit of marijauana, an illegally concealed gun, or some other contraband, and is hijacked by the bad guy. The bad guy does not have standing to object to the search. The citizen does, and if the citizen does his illegal contraband cannot be used against him. The bad guy has no expectation of privacy in the vehicle he has hijacked and cannot object to the search.

I have probably oversimplified what is actually a fact driven and complicated area of the law. But the heirarchy is first there has to be a reasonable detention or consensual encounter. Then there has to be consent to a search or probable cause. And finally there has to be an exigency to excuse the requirement for a warrant. Last, but not least, the person objecting to the search must have had a reasonable expectation of privacy in the place searched that is one society will protect.

You will note the number of times the words "reasonable" and "probable" appear in the above paragraph and realize each one of these is something for lawyers to argue about. This is not something that is cut and dried.

Don't carry around anything you need to hide. Always wear your own pants and keep your gun, your identification, and your drugs in different places. Make sure you have a front license plate, there are no cracks in your windshield, there is nothing hanging from your rear view mirror, your registration is current, all of your vehicle's lights are working, and always, always make a full stop at every stop sign behind the limit line. Cheers.

Oh, I almost forgot. Make sure your trailer hitch ball is not blocking your license plate.

foxtrotuniformlima
10-11-2009, 8:37 PM
What about when the threat level changes and the airport police search vehicles coming in to the airport? What is their scope?

Airport is considered a port of entry and there are some unique rules for these places.

snobord99
10-11-2009, 10:45 PM
Mere presence in an area where a crime has occurred does not equal probable cause to search. Leaving aside administrative inspections because these facts do not fit that exception, there must either be consent or probable cause before a search takes place.

The probable cause can be probable cause to arrest in which case the extent of the search is limited based on the offense for which the arrest is made and the area into which the person arrested could reach to conceal or destroy evidence.

Here we are not dealing with arrest PC, but search PC. Again, mere presence in the area, whether in a vehicle or not, does not equate to PC to arrest or even reasonable suspicion to detain. (Note: we have to justify the detention before we even begin the analysis of the justification for the search.)

Search without PC is valid if there is voluntary consent. However, if the detention that leads to the consent is itself unreasonable, then the consent is not voluntary. That means law enforcement must have a good reason to detain someone before they can ask for consent to search. Oh, and the detention cannot be unreasonably prolonged. Wow, this is getting complicated!

Let's say we have a valid detention and no consent to search. Now probable cause is necessary for the search. No PC means no search. But lets say we have probable cause (I said this before, but it bears repeating: mere presence in a high crime area, without more does not equal probable cause) the next question is whether the necessity of a warrant is excused.

For motor vehicles the fact that probable cause exists to search the motor vehicle excuses the warrant requirement. Now the officer, assuming probable cause, has access to the entire vehicle and all the containers inside: purses, packages, the trunk, the glove compartment, and almost anything else is a container subject to search under the PC that applies for the vehicle.

But, what if there was not PC, or the consent was involutary, or there was no reasonable basis for the detention? Now we get to remedies. If the police are searching for the bad guy that Killed, Robbed, Raped, or whatever and they violate your rights, any evidence that results will be suppressed, as to you. But only as to you! Unless the bad guy has standing to object to the search (you picked him up as a hitchhiker and he is riding as a passenger in your car with your consent for example) he will not be able to object to the search and the evidence will be admissible as to him.

So in the hypothetical of the somewhat law-abiding citizen who is driving around a little bit of marijauana, an illegally concealed gun, or some other contraband, and is hijacked by the bad guy. The bad guy does not have standing to object to the search. The citizen does, and if the citizen does his illegal contraband cannot be used against him. The bad guy has no expectation of privacy in the vehicle he has hijacked and cannot object to the search.

I have probably oversimplified what is actually a fact driven and complicated area of the law. But the heirarchy is first there has to be a reasonable detention or consensual encounter. Then there has to be consent to a search or probable cause. And finally there has to be an exigency to excuse the requirement for a warrant. Last, but not least, the person objecting to the search must have had a reasonable expectation of privacy in the place searched that is one society will protect.

You will note the number of times the words "reasonable" and "probable" appear in the above paragraph and realize each one of these is something for lawyers to argue about. This is not something that is cut and dried.

Don't carry around anything you need to hide. Always wear your own pants and keep your gun, your identification, and your drugs in different places. Make sure you have a front license plate, there are no cracks in your windshield, there is nothing hanging from your rear view mirror, your registration is current, all of your vehicle's lights are working, and always, always make a full stop at every stop sign behind the limit line. Cheers.

Oh, I almost forgot. Make sure your trailer hitch ball is not blocking your license plate.

This statement is 100% correct, but it somewhat misses the distinction here. We're not talking about a high crime area where crime often occurs. We're talking about an area where a specific crime has already (and recently) occurred. The question is if the search is valid under the exigent circumstances exception. I don't think anyone here's really arguing that there was PC (there wasn't). In addition, while most of us acknowledged that consent was given in this specific case, I think we're talking about the hypothetical situation of someone who didn't consent. Thus, I think we can all agree that we've already skipped the first 2 steps of you hierarchy and are more concerned with the standards under that 3rd step.

5hundo
10-12-2009, 8:44 AM
It is simple. Never consent to a search. Period. End of story.

If they have probable cause to search your trunk, they are going to search your trunk. If they don't, they are still probably going to search your trunk. The key is by not giving consent, you protect your rights.

I generally am not in a hurry to go anywhere. I am going to refuse consent, even if they are looking for a criminal. You could even make it easy on them and say, "I do not consent to opening up my trunk. What do you think is your probable cause for opening my trunk? [cop answers with some lame reason] I want you to understand I do not consent to this search and am only opening my trunk under duress. [cop looks in trunk] Am I free to go officer? I hope you find who you are looking for. Have a nice day."

+1

Even if you don't have anything, do not consent to search. In fact, especially if you don't have anything, don't let them search your car. The cops will waste hours trying to find contraband that doesn't exist. When they ask you why you didn't consent, if you didn't have anything, just tell them this: "Well officer, I figured that no amount of me telling you that I didn't have anything was going to convince you that I didn't. So, since you seemed so intent on wasting my time, I figured I'd return the favor. Now give me your badge number and call your supervisor. You had no probable cause to search."

I told a cop that once. I could see the rage in his eyes. 5hundo WINS!!! :D